Not happy with your child’s food at school?

When to be worried about the food at your child’s school

  • Your child says the lunch queue’s too long or that they can never get a seat.
  • Your child says certain food options are regularly running out before they get to the front of the queue.
  • Your child keeps asking for a packed lunch instead, or for money to go out at lunchtime.
  • Your child says they’re hungry in the afternoons.
  • Your child doesn’t want to go into the canteen at all.

What should I do?

Your views of the food at your child’s school can be really powerful:

  • Ask to try a meal for yourself – this is the best way to test the experience.
  • Ask questions on parents’ evening, or ask for a meeting with whoever leads on school food for the school’s senior leadership team.
  • Find out if other parents have similar concerns; raise them together at your PTA.
  • Talk to a school governor and ask them to raise your concerns with the board.

I’m worried about my child’s fussy eating at school

Ask your school:

  • How do you encourage fussy children to try new foods?
  • Do you reward children if they pick a healthy option?
  • Can we pre-order from the menu so that I know what my child is choosing (in primary schools only)?
  • How do you make sure my child’s eating some fruit and veg at lunchtime?
  • Can my child have seconds?

What if I think the portion sizes are too big or too small for my child?

Portion sizes aren’t set nationally because every child has a different appetite. But cooks at every school do get to know their pupils, and should make sure they are getting a portion that’s appropriate for them. If you’re ever concerned that your child isn’t getting enough to eat, talk to school. You might do this by going through your child’s class teacher, the head or by talking to a parent governor.