Health and wellbeing is important to us.

From 8 April 2021, changes were implemented by the Scottish Government to the Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations.

The changes to the regulations are based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence on diet and health and are designed to support the health of children and young people in the school setting. The food and drink that is provided across the school day is designed to support progress towards the Scottish Dietary Goals. This will help to ensure that children and young people, especially those receiving free school meals, have access to nutritionally balanced school lunches.

Differences in the types of provision across primary and secondary have been taken into account when setting the new nutritional standards.

In primary schools most children stay in school at lunchtime, for school lunches or for packed lunch and all children in primary 1-3 are entitled to a free school meal.

In secondary schools, fewer young people choose a main meal in the middle of the day and can almost all have the choice to leave school at lunchtime. Morning provision may also be used by young people to purchase food out with lunch for consumption at lunchtime. Therefore, school lunches can have a significant impact on establishing good eating habits and improving children's diets.

All breakfast clubs and afterschool clubs run on school premises offering food and drinks, including those run by private operators, are required to meet the nutritional regulations.

Changes to the regulations

The food-based standards and regulations have been changed or amended for:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • red and red processed meat
  • sweetened and baked products
  • breakfast cereals
  • savoury snacks
  • bread
  • pastry and pastry products
  • sweetened yoghurts, fromage frais and other milk-based desserts
  • confectionery
  • drinks

These changes are designed to minimise the risk to the health of children and young people by limiting the amount of red and red processed meat and reduce the intake of fat, sugar and salt. The changes aim to increase fibre, promote the benefits of and increase consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables

Primary schools

At the school lunch:

  • not less than two portions of vegetables shall form part of the school lunch
  • not less than one portion of fruit shall form part of the school lunch
  • a portion must be at least 40g
  • a portion of dried fruit should be limited to 15g

Outwith the school lunch:

  • a variety of fruit and/or vegetables portions must be made available in any place within the premise where food is to be provided
  • a portion must be at least 40g
  • a portion of dried fruit should be limited to 15g

Secondary schools

At the school lunch:

  • not less than two portions of vegetables shall form part of the analysed school lunch
  • not less than one portion of fruit shall form part of the analysed school lunch
  • a portion is at least 80g (a portion of dried fruit should be limited to 30g)

Outwith the school lunch:

  • a variety of fruit and/or vegetables portions must be made available in any place within the premises where food is provided
  • salad or vegetables must be provided and included in the cost of any main lunch item
  • a portion is at least 80g (a portion of dried fruit should be limited to 30g)

Red and red processed meat

Primary schools

At the school lunch no more than 175g of red and red processed meat is permitted over the course of the school week, of which no more than 100g should be red processed meat.

Outwith the school lunch red and red processed meat is not permitted.

Secondary schools

Across the school day no more than 230g of red and red processed meat is permitted over the course of the school week, of which no more than 130g should be red processed meat.

Sweetened and baked products

Primary schools

At the school lunch:

  • sweetened baked products and desserts cannot be served more than three times per week
  • when served they should contain no more than 15g total sugar per portion

Outwith the school lunch only products meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • no more than 7g total sugar per portion
  • no more than 13g of fat per portion
  • no more than 4g of saturated fat per portion

Secondary schools

Across the school day only products meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • no more than 10g of total sugar per portion. 
  • no more than 19g of fat per portion.
  • no more than 6g of saturated fat per portion

Breakfast cereals

Primary schools

Across the school day only breakfast cereals meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • no more than 15g of total sugar per 100g
  • no more than 440mg of sodium per 100g
  • no more than 1.1g of salt per 100g
  • at least 3g of fibre per 100g

Secondary schools

Across the school day only breakfast cereals meeting the following criteria can be provided: 

  • no more than 15g of total sugar per 100g
  • no more than 440mg of sodium per 100g
  • no more than 1.1g of salt per 100g
  • at least 3g of fibre per 100g

Savoury snacks

Primary schools

Across the school day the following savoury snacks can be provided:

  • plain savoury crackers
  • plain oatcakes
  • plain breadsticks

In addition, only pre-packaged savoury snacks meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • pack size of no more than 25g
  • no more than 22g of fat per 100g
  • no more than 2g of saturates per 100g
  • no more than 600mg of sodium per 100g
  • no more than 1.5g of salt per 100g
  • no more than 3g of total sugar per 100g

Secondary schools

Across the school day the following savoury snacks can be provided:

  • plain savoury crackers
  • plain oatcakes
  • plain breadsticks

In addition, only pre-packaged savoury snacks meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • pack size of no more than 25g
  • no more than 22g of fat per 100g
  • no more than 2g of saturates per 100g
  • no more than 600mg of sodium per 100g
  • no more than 1.5g of salt per 100g
  • no more than 3g of total sugar per 100g

Bread

Primary schools

Across the school day all bread and bread rolls must contain a minimum of 3g of AOAC fibre.

Secondary schools

Across the school day all bread and bread rolls must contain a minimum of 3g of AOAC fibre.

Pastry and pastry products

Primary schools

Across the school day pastry and pastry products should not be provided more than twice a week.

Secondary schools

Across the school day pastry and pastry products should not be provided more than twice a week.

Sweetened yoghurts, fromage frais and other milk based desserts

Primary schools

Across the school day only sweetened yoghurt, fromage frais and other milk based desserts meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • maximum portion size of 125g
  • no more than 10g of total sugar per 100g
  • no more than 3g of fat per 100g

Secondary schools

Across the school day only sweetened yoghurt, fromage frais and other milk based desserts meeting the following criteria can be provided:

  • maximum portion size of 175g
  • no more than 10g of total sugar per 100g
  • no more than 3g of fat per 100g

Confectionery

Primary schools

Across the school day:

  • no confectionery shall be made available in any place within school premises
  • either as a separate item such as chocolate bar or as an ingredient in products under any other standard such as sweetened and baked goods or pastry items

Secondary schools

Across the school day:

  • no confectionery shall be made available in any place within school premises
  • either as a separate item such as chocolate bar or as an ingredient in products under any other standard such as sweetened and baked goods or pastry items.

Drinks

Primary schools

Across the school day the only drinks that can be provided are:

  • plain water still or sparkling
  • plain lower fat milk and calcium enriched milk alternatives
  • no added sugar, lower fat milk drinks
  • no added sugar, lower fat drinking yoghurts

Secondary schools

Across the school day the only drinks that can be provided are:

  • water (still or sparkling)
  • plain lower fat milk and calcium enriched milk alternatives
  • tea and coffee
  • no added sugar, lower fat milk drinks (for example flavoured and hot chocolate)
  • no added sugar, lower fat drinking yoghurts
  • sugar free drinks (excluding high caffeine - 150 mg per litre)

Contact Information

 

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