Promoting good nutrition through healthy school meals
- Corporate Author:
- Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Audit Office
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Following concerns about the quality of children's diets and the content of school meals, compulsory nutritional standards were introduced in September 2005. While two thirds of school Principals surveyed by the Health Promotion Agency in 2008 considered that their school lunch service was fully compliant with the nutritional standards, the report calls for greater sanctions against those schools that consistently fail to comply with the standards. The continued existence of unhealthy food in vending machines and tuck shops in some schools is at odds with the healthy eating message being delivered by school meals services. Many school catering supervisors have experienced difficulties in meeting the requirements of the standards within the budget available. The report notes how the active support of school Principals is one of the key factors in the successful implementation of nutritional standards. At present there is no single mechanism for sharing good practice in healthy eating across schools which can be accessed by teachers, catering staff, school governors and parents. Just over half of all pupils in Northern Ireland's 1,200 schools eat school lunches on a regular basis, though a key finding of the report is that around 22 per cent of the 58,000 pupils registered as entitled to free school meals did not take up this entitlement. There remains considerable scope for increasing the number of children eating school meals. There are wide variations between school kitchens in the cost of producing a school meal.
|Format||Paperback||Published||16 Mar 2011|
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