The Grove Infant and Nursery School
School Meals Fact Sheet
Lunchtime is an important part of the school day. During this time food, recreation and relaxation all play an important part in preparing the children both physically and mentally for the afternoon’s work.
This fact sheet aims to answer some of the questions about school meals that parents frequently ask.
The school’s catering service is provided by Hertfordshire Catering Limited. The contract is agreed at County Council level and is taken up by about 450 schools across the county.
All infant children are able to have a free school dinner every day.
All meals provided at the “Lunchtime Express” must comply with the national school meals nutritional standards.
A single three week rolling menu is planned for all of the schools catered for.Simple meals are planned to meet the needs of infant children.
There are strict guidelines as to how many portions of each meal must be on offer. That is why classes go into lunch on a rota basis so that all children have their turn to have first choice.
There is always a vegetarian choice (e.g. pizza) and at least one other main dish (e.g. spaghetti bolognaise).
The amount of processed food used has decreased greatly and there is very little processed food on the menu. Sausages (one of the children’s favourites) have one of the lowest salt and fat contents available.
Both fish and a roast dinner are served once a week.
Potatoes are roasted, boiled, mashed, oven baked wedges or chipped; chips are only served once a week. Other processed potato products are not served.
Fruit and vegetables are widely available across the menu. New recipes have been added and existing recipes adapted, e.g. adding fruit to sponge puddings. We offer at least one pudding containing fruit each day. Fruit is also served as a side dish.
Our Cook Manager, Mrs Price, cooks her own bread, pizza dough, pastry and cookies on the school premises.
Mrs Price provides meals for children with a range of dietary requirements. If your child has an allergy or food intolerance you will be required to make contact with Hertfordshire Catering Limited, via their website www.hertscatering.co.uk/allergy-menu-application to organise an appropriate school meal. We can cater for most dietary needs.
Staff members encourage (but do not push) the children to taste new dishes. Tasting spoons are kept by the serving hatch and children are encouraged to try a little if they are unsure.
The dining area is fairly small so the children who have hot meals sit in the dining area. This minimises the distance they have to walk with their trays.
The lunchtime supervisory team may have to support as many as 270 children in 1½ hours. That is a challenge in itself!!
Packed lunches are not governed by national nutritional standards but parents are encouraged to think carefully about the nutritional and energy value of the food that goes into them. Packed lunch children are always welcome to sample a meal.
On joining Reception the children certainly need the full hour to eat and relax - if they do not finish their dinner regularly or find any aspect of lunchtime difficult, we will let you know.
The Lunchtime Staff are proud of the meals that are offered to the children and we urge you to support them.
Please let us know if there are any further questions you would like answered.