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Appetite for Life

Appetite for Life sets out the actions required to improve the standards of food and drink provided in schools in Wales.

Appetite for life

Appetite for Life recommendations are split into nutrient based standards, food based standards and drinks standards, as follows  

  • There are 14 nutrient based standards including energy
  • There are 11 food based standards
  • Separate drinks standards

 

14 Nutrient based standards have been set for food provided as a pupil’s midday meal and will help to reduce intakes of fat, sugar and salt and increase vitamin and mineral intakes. 

 

They apply to an average school lunch over five consecutive school days, and relate to overall provision rather than individual consumption.  

Food based standards have been set to apply to food served across the whole school day and will help to increase intakes of fruit, vegetables and oily fish and encourage healthier choices at meal times to form better eating habits for life. 

 

  • Who is responsible for actually providing the food and drinks in schools?
    The responsibility for the provision of a paid for school meals service, free school meals to eligible children and deciding the form of school meals lies with the local authority or school governing body where the function has been delegated.

     

    Since April 2000 local authorities have delegated funding for school meals to all secondary schools and may also delegate funding for school meals to primary and special schools if they wish.  Where a school has a delegated budget for meals, the school governing body takes on the same responsibility as the local authority in connection with their provision.  Schools with delegated budgets are free to buy back into local authority catering services if the local authority agrees. 

     

    Through the school meal contract, responsibility for day to day provision may be discharged to the service provider, but the responsibility for the provision of school meals still remains with the local authority or the school governing body where the function has been delegated.

  • What are the recommendations for food provision in schools?
    Circular No: 03/2003 ‘Nutritional Standards for School Lunches’ provides advice on the current minimum compulsory standards for school lunches set out in the Education (Nutritional Standards for School Lunches) (Wales) regulations 2001.   

    Appetite for Life, published in November 2007, introduces more stringent nutritional standards which exceed the current minimum compulsory standards and applies to all food served whether it is provided by the school e.g. tuck shop/vending, in-house catering team, local authority catering services or an outside catering provider/contractor

    Appetite for Life recommendations are not yet compulsory.  However all schools should be working towards these recommendations in readiness for changes to legislation which will be in line with the Appetite for Life recommendations.

    Since 2008 all local authorities in Wales have received grant funding, to assist them in working with their schools towards the Appetite for Life recommended standards.
  • Who is responsible for ensuring the food provision meets food and nutrient based recommendations in Appetite for Life?
    Responsibility for ensuring foods and drinks served meet recommendations depends on who is responsible for provision within your school.

    Where the food provision is provided by the local authority, the local authority is responsible for ensuring the food meets recommendations.

    Where the food provision is provided by the school either “in-house” or by a contractor, the governing body are responsible for ensuring the food meets recommendations.
  • As a governor, what do I need to be aware of in terms of providing food in schools?
    As a governor, you should think about the following (this list is not exhaustive);

    - Legal requirements regarding school food provision

    - Becoming familiar with the most up to date recommendations in Appetite for Life

    - Ensuring all food served across the school day meets or is working towards meeting the recommendations set out in Appetite for Life

    - Requirements for undertaking nutritional analysis of the lunchtime food provision where the food is not provided by local authority caterers

    - SMT and governors in the school need to understand their responsibilities in terms of implementing the recommendations and legal requirements

    - In a school that has opted out of local authority catering provision, you should be aware of the support and guidance the school catering team may need to implement the recommendations

     

    Any contracted providers should be made aware of the Appetite for Life recommendations

 

The Appetite for Life Action Plan, Draft implementation guidelines, Nutritional analysis guide, Food based standards posters and Secondary school food based assessment tool can be downloaded from the Welsh Assembly Government website:

 

GOV.wales