School food other than lunches

The standards for all school food other than lunches apply to all food and drink provided by local authorities or school governing bodies to pupils during an extended school day (up to 6pm). This includes food and drink provided at breakfast and after school clubs or from vending machines, tuck shops or mid morning break services.

These standards are designed to help to limit the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt provided by food across the school day. They also ensure snacks and drinks provided at times other than lunch support the nutritional quality of school lunches:

  • Fruit and/or vegetables must be available in all school food outlets
  • Starchy food cooked in fat or oil must not be provided more than two days each week across the school day
  • Meat or poultry products (manufactured or homemade and meeting the legal requirements) can be provided no more than once each week in primary schools and twice each week in secondary schools across the school day
  • Lower fat milk must be available for drinking every day during school hours (e.g. mid-morning break, lunchtime) This requirement cannot be met by providing milk at breakfast or after school clubs
  • No more than two portions of food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated, breadcrumb-coated may be provided each week, across the school day
  • No more than two portions of food which includes pastry may be provided each week, across the school day
  • Cakes and biscuits must not be provided
  • Desserts must not be provided , except for yoghurt or fruit-based desserts with a content of at least 50% fruit, across the school day
  • No snacks, except nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit with no added salt, sugar or fat may be provided across the school day
  • No savoury crackers or breadsticks
  • No confectionery
  • Salt must not be available to add to food after the cooking process is complete
  • Condiments may only be available in sachets or individual portion of more than 10 grams or one teaspoon
  • Only healthier drinks can be provided.