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Guidance for caterers on breakfast and after-school food provision

19th Jan 2022 - 09:11
The Government, in consultation with school meals organisation LACA, has published guidance for caterers to ensure food served outside lunchtimes adheres to School Food Standards.

The guidance, which uses the healthy, balanced diet in the Eatwell Guide, has been produced in recognition of the fact that many schools now provide breakfast and after-school clubs which include the provision of a meal or snack.

LACA Chair Jacquie Blake said: “We are really pleased to announce our latest guide for our members, the Wrap Around Care School Food Provision Guidance.

“We felt it was important to support our members with the guidance and portion sizes, as many schools serve both breakfast and after school clubs and also during holiday activities.

“It has been created in conjunction with the Department for Education and reflects the healthy balanced provision, in line with the school food standards, that schools and caterers should provide.”

Formally titled ‘Guidance for Wrap Around Care: School Food Provision for Primary/Academies’ the new document is aimed at schools in England as standards vary across the devolved nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Acknowledging that more than one provider may be involved, It says: “To avoid the repetition of dishes or restricted food groups, it is essential that any provider, school contract caterer, in house school provider or volunteer group, liaise with the main food provider in the school to coordinate menus, ensuring a compliant, balanced menu across the whole school day.

“Foods served at breakfast and after-school clubs must not contain items restricted under the School Food Standards (e.g. confectionery, chocolate or chocolate-coated products, pastries, desserts, snacks, savoury crackers or breadsticks, no cakes or biscuits).

“When preparing weekly menus for a breakfast club or afterschool club, they will need to be checked against the main school food menu to limit the number of restricted items such as breaded products, deep-fried dishes and pastry items.”

And the guidance also makes clear that all settings should cater for children who require special diets - allergies, vegetarians vegans or religious diets.

It is being launched alongside a document that offers catering operators suggested portion sizes.

It covers a range of cereals, bread and bakery items, as well as spreads, fresh fruit and raw vegetables, plain popcorn and plain yogurt.

Written by
David Foad