UK & World News

  • 17 June 2014, 8:00

School Dinners: Plan To Cut Fatty Foods

Deep-fried and battered food will be limited to two portions a week under new measures to make school dinners healthier.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says the new standards are designed to make it easier for school cooks to create "imaginative, flexible and nutritious menus".

The Government has said previous standards introduced between 2006 and 2009 did much to improve school food, but were complicated and expensive to enforce.

Cooks had to use a special computer programme to analyse the nutritional content of every menu.

The new standards act like guidelines for cooks and include the following rules: one or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day, at least three different fruits, and three different vegetables each week.

They also limit fruit juice portions to 150ml and stipulate no more than two portions a week of food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated, or breadcrumb-coated.

Mr Clegg said: "The revised school food standards will allow schools to be more creative in their menus.

"They are easier for schools to understand and crucially they will continue to restrict unhealthy foods to ensure our children eat well."

While the standards have been welcomed by many teachers and parents, some argue they will be ignored by thousands of schools.

The standards are not compulsory for academies created between 2010 and June 2014. 

A spokesperson for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) told Sky News: "Expecting some schools to sign up voluntarily while others are required to abide by the standards on a compulsory basis fundamentally undermines the principle of having universal food standards.

"This will significantly weaken the message that all schools should provide a healthy and balanced diet to all children."

The Government says it is confident schools will sign up to the new scheme, but it remains their choice.

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