1. ITV Report

Healthy meals could be provided in schools

The States is working with the charity Caring Cooks to provide healthy meals for children Credit: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/DPA/PA Images

Healthy meals could be provided in schools if a pilot scheme goes well.

It will start at Samarès and Janvrin primary schools in September and run for two years.

The States is working with the charity Caring Cooks on the project. Meals will cost £2.50 but some children will get them for free.

Putting the onus on busy parents to provide packed lunches that meet nutritional guidelines is challenging and doesn’t always lead to consistent positive outcomes for children.

Many schools have done good work with parents to improve the standards of packed school lunches but we know that some lunches still contain high levels of sodium, sugar and saturated fats.

Providing nutritious food for children to eat throughout the school day will have a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being, reducing their risks of becoming obese, or developing illnesses like type 2 diabetes, cardio vascular disease, and cancer. The school meal project, if successful, will allow us to intervene early in children’s lives to help them to develop positive dietary habits that they can continue into adulthood.

– Martin Knight, Director of Public Health Policy

It is important that children have daily access to healthy nutritious food while at school;there is growing evidence that a good diet and nutrition improves student performance.

Learning how to eat healthily will also support children’s overall health as they grow up, and help give them the best possible educational start.

The pilot will be trialed for two years in order to assess the impact of the meals before looking at whether it can be rolled out at all primary schools. If the project is successful then any extension of the programme would go out to tender.

– Senator Tracey Vallois, Jersey's Education Minister,