Starting school: what every Year R parent should know about school lunch

Starting school is the beginning of a whole new chapter in a child’s life

Jun 27 2018

Your Hampshire

It’s an exciting time, when children develop new friendships and try lots of new things. School lunches are one of those.

A child’s school lunchtime experience is something HC3S, our school meals provider in Hampshire, takes very seriously. They want to help children enjoy a balanced and nutritious meal, while making memories and friendships.

All primary schools will offer a free school meal to every child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. There are exacting guidelines governing the nutritional content of average weekly consumption, so parents can be assured that the food is healthy, and they can save over £400 a year.

Lunchtime assistants will help children who may need some help, and encourage them to eat their meals. All of HC3S  meals are freshly prepared with ethically sourced ingredients to serve a healthy and tasty lunch. To help children gain some independence, they can choose between red - a dish containing meat, or green – a vegetarian dish.

The guide to school meals, available from your school, explains what to expect from HC3S, and hints and tips on getting children ready for school lunches. It is designed to be shared with children to take away any apprehension they may have, and there’s even a finger puppet for some fun role play.

For parents with concerns about a medical special diet, food allergies or intolerances, there is a step-by-step guide showing what they need to do, and how the  team works, to make a child’s experience as inclusive as their peers. Register on our website as soon as possible to help HC3S and your school be prepared to feed your child from day one.

A daily menu, complete with photos, for the following day’s meal choices, is published for most of schools on Facebook @hc3seducation, as well as the HC3S website.

We also feature special theme days, which are a great way of introducing children to different foods and getting them to try something new in a fun environment.

As lunch makes up just a third of a child’s daily food intake, we all know the importance of a good breakfast too, and a ready snack for at the end of the school day - getting used to the new school routine can use up so much energy.

For further information contact hc3s.support@hants.gov.uk or visit the HC3S School Meals website where there are also useful recipes, such as ideas for healthy party food for all those new friends children will make, as well as helpful ways to re-create a child’s favourite school lunch for all the family.