The Government recognise that good food at school is particularly valuable for the youngest of our children. All children attending school in their first three years of schooling will be entitled to free school meals. By receiving our infant school meals you can save up to £400 a year and ensure your child is eating a healthy, balanced meal every day.
There are very high nutritional standards for school meals and they consistently offer children a third of their nutritional requirements every day which is essential to their growth and development. Having a meal at school has been proven to help children settle to learning quicker, improve their concentration and help with their energy levels to get them through an active school day.
Our school meals are provided by Hertfordshire Catering Limited. Their core aim is to improve school meals and make lunchtime a positive and integral part of a child’s school experience. They are passionate about fresh, local and seasonal ingredients that help to provide dishes that are not only popular with the children but also comply with healthy eating standards and guidelines.
Our meals are fun, nutritious and delivered by a dedicated team of catering professionals with a focus on taste, value and quality. We do this by ensuring that we use raw ingredients from a supply chain with a proven track record. We deliver dishes with a focus on taste, value and reassurance of the provenance of our meals.
Why choose a school lunch?
Children having a school lunch are:
- Encouraged to eat a wider variety of foods
- More likely to eat fruit and vegetables every day
- Less likely to drink sweet drinks and have water instead
- Served balanced meals that are more likely to reach the guideline amounts of vitamins and minerals
Children having a packed lunch should be able to deal with any packaging independently. Containers should be clearly named. Please do not send fizzy drinks, cans or glass bottles, a straw or plastic cup is better. Ensure that the contents in your child’s packed lunch are as healthy as possible – we are a healthy school.
What makes a healthy, balanced packed lunch for children?
Our school, like many, have policies in place to ensure that your child school packed lunch policy support effective learning for the afternoon. We also have some restricted items to support the health of pupils in our care, such as our expectation that no products should contain nuts or peanut butter in school.
Below are some guidelines on how to put together a healthy, balanced packed lunch – these follow the principles of the UK healthy eating model, the Eatwell Guide.
A school packed lunch should:
Be based on starchy food - rice, pasta, bread, couscous, wraps, pitta, potatoes and chapatti and where possible try to choose wholegrain varieties like wholemeal bread
Include plenty of fruit and vegetables - include 1-2 portions in your child’s lunch box and try to vary these throughout the week. Add sliced vegetables into a pasta dish or sandwich and individual packs of dried fruits.
Include a portion of beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, a dairy food and/or a non-dairy source of protein - beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other sources of protein as sandwich fillings or in a pasta or rice salad. Add in a dairy or dairy free yogurt or some cheese such as a cheddar stick
PLEASE REMEMBER … we don’t allow sweets or chocolate bars in school.
What if My Child has Food Allergies?
'If your child has a food allergy or intolerance and meets our qualifying criteria, then we have a range of delicious and nutritious menus designed especially for your child’s medical requirement.'
HCL have an on-line account system for parent of children with special dietary considerations. Before you apply, you will need at hand:
• Your child’s school details including their class name
• Medical evidence of your child’s special meal requirements
• Electronic Passport style photograph (which you will need to upload on to our system).
To apply, simply go to www.hcl.co.uk and click on the tab at the top of the website ‘Allergies’. If you need any further support, please see the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section of our Special Diets website or alternatively you can email HCL.Nutritionist@hcl.co.uk.
Once you have created your account you will be able to easily update both your child’s school and HCL with any changes to your child’s dietary needs in the future, and you will automatically receive new menus when they change (twice yearly).