Packed lunch information

Most schools let you send your child to school with a lunchbox if you want to. While more families are making the switch to healthy school meals, packed lunches are still a very popular option.

Different schools have different arrangements so check with yours to see how things work. Some schools allow all children to eat together, whether they have a school meal or a packed lunch; others ask children with packed lunches to sit in a specific part of the dining room; in others, children with lunchboxes may have to eat in the classroom. If your child’s friends all have school meals, you may find your child wants to join them.

Your school may operate a packed lunch policy. This will set out the sorts of foods that the school encourages children to have in their lunchboxes, and the sorts of foods that aren’t allowed. Policies often ban foods like sweets, chocolate bars, crisps and sugary drinks, and encourage children to have at least one portion of fruit or veg, and to drink water.

Please support your school’s policy if they have one. They’re there to help improve children’s diet and give them a consistent message, because the school canteen won’t sell confectionery or salty snacks like crisps.

On average, children bringing packed lunches consume more foods like meat pies and pasties, sugary drinks and snacks high in fat and salt at lunchtime than pupils having school meals.