Packed Lunch Policy


Pupils are normally expected to eat the lunch provided by the schools catering supplier. However, parents of pupils wishing to have a packed lunch for a particular reason are expected to provide their children with packed lunches that conform to the packed lunch policy.

Children in the Foundation Stage (Reception) will not be allowed to bring a packed lunch to school they have settled in to the school lunch time routine (usually after the Autumn Term).

Children in receipt of Free School Meals must take a school lunch and will not be allowed a packed lunch in school.

This policy was produced using a range of national documents including information and a draft policy from the School Food Trust, the Food in schools toolkit (Department of Health) and Food policy in schools – a strategic policy framework for governing bodies, (National Governors’ Council (NGS 2005).

Overall Aim of the Policy

To ensure that all packed lunches brought from home and consumed in school (or on school trips), provide the pupils with healthy, nutritious food that is similar to food served in schools, which is now regulated by national standards.

Why the Policy was formulated:

The packed lunch policy was introduced for the following reasons:

  • To make a positive contribution to children’s health
  • To support the school in its drive towards Healthy Schools Status
  • To encourage a happier calmer population of children and young people
  • To promote consistency between packed lunches and food provided by the school this must adhere to national standards set by the government. Please visit for more information.

This policy applies to all pupils and parents providing packed lunches to be consumed within school or on school trips during normal school hours beginning from September 2013.

Food and Drink in packed lunches – What the Policy States

Suggestions for food to include in a healthy packed lunch:

  • At least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetable a day
  • One portion of meat, fish or other source of non dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, hummus). Due to nut allergies in school we request that you do not use peanut butter/Nutella/Chocolate Spread etc.
  • Oily Fish such as salmon/mackerel/tuna etc occasionally
  • A starch food such as type of bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other type of cereals every day.
  • Pretzels, seeds, fruit, crackers and cheese, and vegetable or bread sticks with a dip.
  • Cereal bars rather than cakes and biscuits
  • Dairy food such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard everyday
  • Only water (drinking water is freely available in the school dinner hall) , still or sparkling water, fruit juice, semi skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks and smoothies to drink. No canned drinks/No fizzy pop

Suggestions for food to include less often in a healthy packed lunch

  • Snacks such as crisps
  • Meat and Pastry products such as pies and sausage rolls.
  • Cakes/Chocolate coated biscuits and wafers.
  • Suggestions for food to not include in a healthy packed lunch (these are all foods we have already asked children not to bring to school)
  • Confectionary such as chocolate bars and sweets (we will ask your child to return these home unopened). Sweets are not allowed at lunchtime or any other time.
  • Nut or Nut products (peanut butter, Nutella etc) – because of the danger to other children with allergies.
  • Fizzy drinks/Energy Drinks/High Sugar Drinks

Parents must provide their child with a suitable container which they can actually eat the lunch from (rather than need to take the food out and place it straight onto a table). A plastic box with a removeable lid is ideal. A lunch box rather than a lunch bag.

Special Diets and Allergies

The school recognises that some pupils require a special diet that does not allow for standards to be met exactly. In this case parents are urged to be responsible in ensuring that packed lunches are as healthy as possible. For these reasons pupils are not permitted to swap food items. We also discourage parents from using nut based/nut oil based products as sandwich fillers.

Assessment, evaluation and reviewing:

Packed lunches are reviewed by lunchtime staff as part of their supervision of the children. Pupils on special diets following verified medical advice will be given due consideration.

Dissemination of the Policy

The school will inform all new and existing parents/carers of the policy.

The policy will be available on the schools website and available to view in school.
All staff, including teaching and catering staff and the school nurse will be informed of this policy and will support its implantation.
This policy will be reviewed to take account of any new developments.

Click here to download a printable copy of the Packed Lunch Policy