Thanks for all your tweets
We’ve been reading lots of tweets this morning about the School Food Plan and wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read it.
It’s been great to see support from so many people (including Jamie Oliver, who has been incredibly helpful throughout).
One of the headlines that is hitting the media is “Ban packed lunches”. Packed lunches are rarely as nutritionally valuable for children as a school meal, but we want to make it clear that we are not suggesting a universal ban of packed lunches. It is important, however, that head teachers do not allow them to become the “exciting option” bejewelled with chocolate bars and crisps.
There are many ways to allow school meals to compete fairly with packed lunches – for example by banning sweets, crisps and sugary drinks from lunch boxes. Banning packed lunches is an extreme option, but one that some schools have shown can have very positive results. Petchey Academy in Hackney, for example, has created a wonderful culture in which all the children eat a school lunch, creating a family-style atmosphere in the dining room. The schools that ban packed lunches altogether have one thing in common - truly exceptional food (and even these make exceptions - for example when a child has a complex special or medical diet).
If you haven’t had chance to read the plan in detail yet please be assured that it doesn’t say there will be a packed lunch ban. If you have any more questions on this subject or have experienced this in your child’s school we would love to hear about it via @schfoodplan and #schoolfoodplan.