Your child has a choice of having either a cooked school meal or bringing in a packed lunch. This choice needs to last for a half term. All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to Free School Meals.
School meals are cooked on the premises and are nutritionally balanced. Dietary requirements on medical and religious grounds can be catered for. Meals cost £2.40 per day or £12 per week. Dinner money needs to be sealed in an envelope with your child's name and class written on it. Your child needs to place their envelope in the dinner money basket in the classroom. Packed lunches should be placed on the trolleys in the playground at the beginning of the day.
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If you receive certain benefits such as:
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- Pensions Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration Asylum Act 1999
you may be able to receive Free School Meals and certain other grants. You can contact Royal Greenwich either online at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk or by calling 020 8921 2530 or 020 8921 2570 for more information. You can also speak to a member of our office staff who will be able to help.
What’s in a healthy packed lunch?
A child at school should have about a third of their daily nutrient requirement at lunchtime. This means they need food that is going to provide them with a balance of energy, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
A good packed lunch contains:
- A starchy food, such as bread, rolls, pitta bread, naan bread, rice cakes, crackers, potatoes, rice, pasta or noodles. These are good for children to fill up on.
- A good source of protein, iron and zinc such as meat, fish, beans, or eggs. Due to allergies packed lunches must be nut-free.
- A good source of calcium such as cheese, yoghurt or fromage frais.
- At least one portion of fruit and at least one portion of vegetable or salad to provide all the other vitamins and minerals. A piece of fruit could be a piece of fresh fruit, dried fruit, a fruit smoothie or a carton of sliced fruit in juice. A piece of vegetable could be carrot sticks, lettuce in a sandwich or a salad.
No single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy and function efficiently so it is important that the content of the packed lunch is varied.
What about treats such as crisps, cakes, wafers and biscuits?
We recommend that treats should be given in moderation. Children will then appreciate them more. Children should not bring sweets to school, but an occasional treat such as crisps, a piece of cake, wafer or biscuit is acceptable. There is a display about healthy packed lunches in the dining hall, so please refer to that for more information.
Please remember that if treats are included in packed lunches the children tend to eat these first. They may not have the appetite to eat the other foods that will provide them with the important nutrients they need to grow and develop, be healthy and active.
What drinks can children have in their packed lunch?
We base our policy on lunchtime drinks on advice from the school nursing service and the NHS.
Packed lunches from home can include:
- A small, still bottle of unflavoured water
- A carton of milkshake (cow’s milk, soya milk, rice milk but not nut milks)
- A yogurt drink
Drinks that may not be included are:
- Fruit juice
- Flavoured water