Meals at school

Setting standards in school food and food skills is critical to the health of a generation of children and will have a significant impact on our economy.

We have produced a set of standards covering all food sold or served in schools: breakfast, lunch, after-school meals, tuck vending, mid-morning break and after-school clubs.

Why have we set food standards?

With obesity in children and young people increasing - as well as concerns over cooking skills across communities and the general knowledge of where food comes from - school meals have a vital role to play.

According to nutrient and food-based standards of school meals, schools in Brent must provide:

  • a fully inclusive two course meal for a set price each day
  • a range of menu items to choose from
  • dishes which are nutritious, excellent value for money and prepared by qualified catering staff using high quality products
  • a safe working environment in which to dine.

School meal standards were developed following research showing that children were not making healthy food choices at lunchtime and that school meals did not meet their nutritional needs.

Our aims

Specifically, the standards aim to:

  • define types of food which are no longer allowed or are restricted, in order to replace food high in fat, sugar and salt with more nutritious food and drinks
  • ensure nourishing food is served more frequently
  • ensure an immediate improvement in school lunches, allowing time for the more detailed process of developing meals that meet the new nutrient-based standards.


Read our leaflet: Childhood obesity programme 2010-11 - detailing a menu of services available to schools to support children to be a healthy weight.

Free school meals