Scotland is set to make school food healthier in its efforts to achieve an improved diet, reduce childhood obesity by half by 2030 and promote healthy eating habits in children and young people.
As a part of the programme, several amendments have been made in the school food regulations. These were developed following comprehensive consultation and advice from a working group of experts in health, nutrition and education. The regulations are expected to be implemented by autumn 2020.
- School lunches will include a minimum of two full portions of vegetables and a full portion of fruit. Additionally, full portions of fruit and/or vegetables will be available in areas such as tuck shops.
- A cut-off limit for red and processed red meat such as bacon, ham and pepperoni in school lunches will be established with the intention of reducing exposure to nitrites. Scotland will be the first in the UK to do so.
- Fruit juice and smoothies will be removed from primary and secondary schools to help reduce sugar intake.
Claire Hislop, Organisational Lead for Diet and Healthy Weight at NHS Health Scotland said: "We welcome the changes to the food and drink provided in schools, which will help create an environment in which children can choose a healthy, balanced diet. Together with a range of other actions to help support a healthy diet, this new guidance will contribute to improving health and reducing health inequalities in Scotland."