The Department of Education is seeking views on proposals to update the nutritional standards of food provided in grant-aided schools.
In 2007, the Nutritional Standards for School Lunches and Other Food and Drinks in Schools were developed in keeping with government guidance on healthy eating at that time.
Education Minister, Peter Weir said: “Since the standards were introduced 12 years ago, evidence and research has shown that we should eat more fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre whilst reducing the amount of sugar, salt, fat and processed meats. It is important that we update the existing Nutritional Standards to ensure that all food provided in schools is in keeping with up-to-date government guidance on healthy eating.
“The benefits of a healthy diet are well known and can not only help maintain a healthy weight but can reduce the risk of ill-health including diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet can have a critical role in cognitive development and can help improve the mental wellbeing of children and young people by increasing self-esteem and improving mood.”
The consultation will run until Friday 27 March 2020. It is planned, subject to the outcome of this consultation and the availability of funding, that these changes will be implemented with effect from September 2020.
The consultation can be accessed at: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/consultations/update-nutritional-standards-school-food