Chips off menu as new rules come in

Healthier food is now on the menu for schoolchildren
Healthier food is now on the menu for schoolchildren
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New rules for school dinners mean Fylde coast pupils can no longer snub healthy greens in favour of a daily diet of chips.

From the start of the new term, national regulations mean meals must include one or more portions of vegetables or salad every day and no more than two portions of fried foods or pastry-based foods each week.

The rules also promote drinking water and limit fruit juice servings to 150ml and are mandatory for local authority schools, new free schools and schools that convert to academy status.

They have been welcomed by education bosses.

Coun Ivan Taylor, cabinet member for children’s services on Blackpool Council, said: “This is what we do anyway for school dinners in Blackpool so it is nice to see it recognised at national level because it is important children have the right quality food.

“For this reason we are proud of our free school breakfast scheme for primary schools.

“It is important because it gets children in a good state to learn, but a good diet also has a long term effect and hopefully will be something they will maintain all their lives and which will become a habit.

“The evidence shows if people have a healthy lifestyle including with what they eat, that is of great benefit to them.”

Lancashire’s education boss, County Coun Matthew Tomlinson also welcomed the new rules.

He said: “The emphasis on healthy eating in schools in recent years is a really positive thing, as there’s lots of research that children who are well fed are able to learn better.

“About 90 per cent of schools in Lancashire use the county council’s meals service and I think we can be really proud of that. I’m confident that we already provide healthy choices, but the new rules will help enforce that.”