School meals - food standards

Food served in all maintained schools and academies in England must meet school food standards so that children have healthy, balanced diets.

These standards make sure that school lunches always include:

  • one or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day
  • one or more portions of starchy food, such as bread or pasta every day
  • a portion of food containing milk or dairy every day
  • a portion of meat or poultry on 3 or more days each week
  • oily fish once or more every 3 weeks

They severely restrict foods high in fat, salt and sugar, as well as low quality reformed or reconstituted foods.

Read more about standards for school food in England, including:

  • the types of food that should be served and how often
  • guidance for schools, including head teachers and governors
  • guidance on food allergies

Find out if your child can get free school meals.