Healthy Eating

According to advice from the Food Standards Agency, a healthy packed lunch should include:
•Meat, fish or a dairy source of protein
•Starchy carbohydrate, such as a wholegrain sandwich, to provide energy
•At least one portion each of a fruit and vegetable or salad
•Water or milk to drink, but diluted fruit juice and yogurt drinks or smoothies are acceptable

The key foods to avoid are:
•Sweets and chocolate
•Snacks, like crisps, with added salt/sugar/fat
•Sugary and fizzy drinks
•Deep-fried foods and processed meats
•White bread - if children won't eat brown, try whole white sliced bread

In 2008, strict nutrition content guidelines for primary schools were introduced and extended to secondary schools in September 2009.

They include maximum/minimum levels of energy or calories and 13 different nutrients, including fat, salt and sugars.

The Schools Food Trust - an independent body set up to advise schools on healthy eating - says there are no plans to issue statutory guidance on packed lunches, but it has produced some sample lunchbox menus.