Research published earlier this month suggest that ‘children’s packed lunches lack fruit and vegetables’.
At Moortown, a packed lunch survey carried out last week showed a massive 86% of our packed lunches had at least one portion of fruit or vegetable with 43% having two or more portions. One of our Year 6’s packed lunch even contained her five-a-day of fruit and vegetables! Children excitedly and proudly showed their fruit and vegetable choices.
It has been one year since we introduced our packed lunch guidance which includes advice and ideas for healthy packed lunches. As part of the guidance, we encourage children to bring at least one portion of fruit and / or vegetables. Our guidance was introduced, for parents / carers and children, as packed lunches do not follow the same nutritional guidelines introduced for school dinners. Data collected prior to producing the guidance has been used as a comparison to assess the impact of our work on improving packed lunches.
Results from the latest survey have shown some positive results:
- 86% of packed lunches now contain at least one portion of fruit or vegetables (compared to 80% in 2010).
- There is a greater variety of carbohydrate items within packed lunches eg pasta salads.
- The number of children bringing snack items has reduced slightly with children commenting they don’t bring these items in every day, but as a treat.
- The major impact we have seen in the results has been the reduction in the number of children bringing sweetened drinks eg Fruit Shoots (65% 2010 to 25% in 2011) and now choosing water which we provide on the tables at lunchtime or their own water bottles. Did you know that over a year these parent / carers will be saving approximately £48 by not providing a daily fruit shoot drink?
- We have also seen an increase in the number of children choosing to take a school dinner (flexible packed lunch / school dinner combinations are also available).
Sadly, one or two children don’t have any fruit or vegetables in their packed lunches – often, these children tell us they want some, and usually blame mum or dad!
Please chat with your child about how they might make one small step to a healthier choice.