Magazine Archive

Every child has a right to nutritious food. And while they might not always eat their vegetables (that’s a different battle entirely), that provision needs to be there for them. It’s why we’re all so passionate about the recent debates held in parliament around Free School Meal eligibility under Universal Credit and the expansion of holiday provision programmes. But it’s not just about children from poorer households. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 5-8% of children have a food allergy and many more have a food intolerance. With better education and awareness among those working in the food industry, and a greater prevalence of free-from products, there is no reason why school caterers can’t provide a meal for a child with a food allergy or intolerance (or autoimmune disease as in the case of coeliacs). Because every child should be able to eat a nutritious, hot meal at lunchtime in school. This month we have been busting some myths around food allergies and showing how easy it can be to provide for all pupils, in particular those entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals and Free School Meals, whose parents may not have the choice to provide a packed lunch. There are countless recipes and products created specifically for the school catering sector (see page 24) and if you still are not convinced, on page 30 we hear from one parent about the conversation she wants to have with her son’s school chef before trusting them to make his allergen-free lunch each day. This is an issue full of parent’s voices actually, as our Big Interview on page 12 with the Children’s Food Campaign features its new Parents’ Jury, a powerful tool for getting opinion on all food matters across. Elsewhere this month we report from the LACA Spring Seminar and School Chef of the Year finals on page 16, look back at International School Meals Day (page 20) and look into the hot topic of palm oil on page 22.

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