Council bosses have compiled a new city-wide packed lunch ‘toolkit’ to boost nutrition among Leeds school pupils.
Figures show nearly half of students in Leeds are bringing in packed lunches - but only one per cent of those are estimated to meet the same healthy standards as school meals.
Across the country, research has shown around 50 per cent of all packed lunches contain no fruit of vegetables.
So this year, Leeds City Council has put together a guidance booklet - with a set of lunch standards - to help families pack a nutritious box for their children.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for children and families, said to ensure pupils have equal access to healthy food, it is important that parents are well informed of the type of foods their children can bring to school. She said: “Tackling child obesity and addressing low intakes of vitamins and minerals in children continue to be a priority in Leeds as we know poor nutrition doesn’t only affect short and long-term health but has a direct impact on behaviour, learning and attainment.”
She added: “We’re very aware each family has individual needs to ensure they can provide their child with a healthy lunch such as budget, time constraints and managing fussy eaters. This is why the guide and toolkit we’re producing will help to overcome many of these issues, helping parents and children to see the benefits of healthy eating.”
For those not having packed lunches, the Government policy of providing a free school meal for all reception, year one and year two children will enter its second year this September.
*** Throughout this week the Yorkshire Evening Post will be bringing you a series of stories on all things ‘back to school’.
From today through to next Monday, we will be featuring a different story every day as children and families across the city prepare for the start of a new school year.
As well as healthy lunchbox tips, we will be bringing you advice for new primary school starters and on the transition from primary to secondary schools as well as key dates for your calendar this year.
We’ll also be hearing from some notable folk including mum-of-two Vicky Psarias, who runs the hugely popular Honestmum.com blog, and headteacher Jonny Mitchell, of Educating Yorkshire fame, who is set to take the helm at a Leeds high school.
Join in with our ‘back to school’ bonanza by sending us your new starter snaps. Email photos of your son or daughter in their new school uniform to firstname.lastname@example.org.