Nutritional standards for school lunches Food and drinks high in fat and/or sugar Fried and other high fat foods Every lunch service must contain the stated portions from these four food groups: 1) Fried foods or other high fat 5) There should be at least two products, such as chips, roast days a week without any meat or • Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods; potatoes, other fried potatoes, chicken products, fried foods, garlic bread, or meal choices such foods cooked in batter, • Fruit and vegetables; as quiche, apple pie and vol-au- breadcrumbs or foods containing vents containing pastry, may be pastry. This is to encourage • Milk and dairy foods; served a maximum of twice a week. children to try a greater range of foods in their diets and explore • Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein. 2) In addition to standard 1, breadcrumbed fillet of fish (oven new taste experiences. baked) can be served once a week. 6) When a high fat starchy food such as chips or garlic bread is 3) Meat or chicken products (such Bread, rice, potatoes, Fruit and vegetables Milk and dairy foods Meat, fish, eggs, beans as burgers, sausages, chicken served, an alternative without added fat must be available. pasta and other and other non-dairy nuggets etc) may be served a maximum of once a week in primary 7) Lower fat desserts must be starchy food sources of protein schools and a maximum of twice available when offering fried and a week in post-primary schools. other high fat foods. 4) To allow choice for pupils on 8) The only savoury snacks 1) Every lunch service must contain 1) No fewer than two portions of fruit 1) Every lunch service must contain 1) Every lunch service must contain the days when meat or chicken available should be nuts and a portion or portions of food from and vegetables should be available a portion or portions of food from a portion or portions of food from products are available, schools seeds with no added salt or this group. per child throughout the lunch service. this group. this group. should aim for 50% healthy meal sugar. Savoury crackers or 2) Rice and pasta must be offered 2) Of these, at least one portion should 2) In addition to standard 1, drinking 2) In nursery and primary schools options and they should be breadsticks may be offered if at least once a week. In a single be vegetables or salad and at least milk must be available as an option meals containing red meat must presented and marketed in a they are served with fruit or choice menu, rice or pasta must one portion should be fruit (fresh, every day. be served a minimum of twice a competitive way to other meal vegetables or a dairy food. be served at least once a week. tinned in natural juice, fruit salad, week and a maximum of three options. This standard does not fruit juice or dried fruit). 3) Cheese must not be served as times a week. In post-primary apply to single choice menus. 3) Bread should be available every the only vegetarian option more schools this must be a minimum day in all schools. 3) Pies, crumbles and other composite than twice a week. of three times a week and a Confectionery and other sweet foods fruit dishes must contain at least maximum of four times a week. one portion of fruit per serving. 4) In non vegetarian dishes cheese 1) Confectionery, chocolate and only be available a maximum of can be used as a topping more 3) Fish should be available at least chocolate coated products should two days per week. 4) Composite main course dishes than twice a week. once a week in primary schools not be available throughout the must contain a minimum of half a 4) High fat and/or high sugar toppings and at least twice a week in lunch time. portion of vegetables per serving, used for decoration such as cream, post-primary schools. 2) Cakes and biscuits can only be buttercream and icing sugar in addition to a separate serving of vegetables or salad. 4) Oily fish should be available at provided at lunch time and as part should be kept to a minimum and least once every four weeks. of a meal. only used if essential, eg to set 5) In nursery and primary schools a fruit on top of a sponge. If used, fruit based dessert must be 3) Cakes, biscuits and puddings an undecorated or healthier offered at least three times a week. made with cocoa powder should dessert should also be available. 6) Baked beans must not be served as a vegetable more than once a week in a primary school. They must Salt and condiments Drinks not be the only vegetable option on any day in a post-primary school. 1) Table salt should not be available 1) The only drinks available in 2) Combination drinks must contain 7) If beans or pulses form the protein within nursery or primary schools. school should be: at least 50% milk, yogurt or fruit part of a main course, another It should not be on view in the • plain water (still or sparkling); juice. Artificial sweeteners are vegetable must be available. post-primary school dining room • milk; only permitted in combination but may be made available on • unsweetened fruit or veg juices; drinks. request from the service counter. • yogurt or milk drinks (with less than 5% added sugar); 3) Fresh drinking water, ie tap 2) Condiments should only be • drinks made from combinations water, must be provided free provided from the service of the above (eg smoothies); every day. Designed and produced by the Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland as part of the School food: top marks programme. counter and should be • tea, coffee and low calorie hot It was jointly funded by the Department of Education and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. controlled by the kitchen staff. 02/09 chocolate.
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