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The draft School Food Standards

As you may remember back in July 2013 we welcomed the publication of the Schools Food Plan (see our original comments).

We welcomed parts of the early draft of the School Food Standards with tantalising possibilities such as:

"Other non-dairy, iron-rich sources of protein, such as eggs, beans, pulses, soya products and nuts and seeds should be provided as a protein option every day for non-meat eaters and at least twice a week for all children.” (Appendix B: Approach to revising school food standards, page 143)

The new School Food Standards have now been piloted with a selection of schools and the final version is out for public consultation by parents, children, teachers, cooks, caterers and others concerned with the standards of food served during our children’s school day. This consultation period is open until 16th April 2014.

An overview of the standards can be seen below.

What we think

There are good things about the draft School Food Standards, such as the control of sugar and confectionary.

The levels of fruit and vegetables required are disappointingly low with only one portion of vegetables and one portion of fruit being set as the minimum standard.

Appendix B (above) that we initially felt positive about has been watered down to say “…should be provided as a protein option at least three times a week for vegetarian children.” We feel this is a huge lost opportunity to improve the meal services to young vegetarians and to introduce vegetarian food to a wider audience. We urge them to reinstate the original section within the School Food Standards.

The new standards are written to try and remove unnecessary constraints from good cooks and chefs. We feel the problem with this is that by removing theses constraints, it will also allow those caterers who are falling below par to continue with their poor standards.

Take part in the Consultation

Here at the Vegetarian Society we are urging parents and young people to take part in the Department of Education’s Consultation, which you can access following the links below. This consultation period is open until 16th April 2014.


Read our official response

Have your say - go to the on-line consultation now

 

Email: SchoolFoodStandards.CONSULTATION@education.gsi.gov.uk

Write to:

Sue White
School Food Unit
Department for Education
Level 2, Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BT

An overview of the standards as they are currently being proposed:

Fruit & veg
Fruit & veg

~ One or more portions of veg as an accompaniment every day.

~ One or more portions of fruit every day.

~ A dessert, containing at least 50% fruit, two or more times per week.

~ At least three different fruits & three different veg each week.

Milk & dairy
Dairy

~ A portion of food from this group every day.

~ Low fat milk available for drinking every day.

Starchy foods
Starchy

~ One or more wholegrain varieties of starchy foods each week.

~ One or more portions of food from this group every day.

~ Three or more different types of starchy foods each week.

~ Starchy food cooked in fat or oil no more than two days a week.

~ Bread, with no added fat or oil, must be available every day.

 

Foods high in fat, sugar & salt
Cakes

~ No more than two portions of food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated or breadcrumb-coated each week.

~ No more than two portions of food which include pastry each week.

~ No snacks, except nuts, seeds, vegetables & fruit with no added salt, sugar or fat.

~ Savoury crackers or breadsticks can be served at lunch with fruit, vegetables or dairy.

~ No confectionary, chocolate or chocolate coated products.

~ Desserts, cakes & biscuits are allowed only at lunchtime.

~ Salt must not be available to add to food.

~ Any condiments limited to sachets or 10g portions.

Meat, fish, eggs & beans & non-dairy protein.
Eggs

~
A portion of food from this group every day.

~
A portion of meat or poultry three or more days a week.

~ Oily fish once or more every three weeks.

~
A portion of non-dairy sources of protein available three or more days each week for vegetarians.

~ A meat or poultry product no more than once a week in primary schools and twice a week in secondary schools.


Healthier drinks
Drinks

~ Free, fresh drinking water at all times.

~ Permitted drinks are plain water, fruit or veg juice, plain soya, rice or oat drinks, yoghurt drinks, tea coffee and hot chocolate.

 

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The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)

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Privacy | | Contact | Press | Advertising | Jobs

The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)