Food at School


Children up to the age of seven will get a piece of fruit to eat at either morning or afternoon break. Children in the reception class (FS2) will also get a drink of milk. All children will be encouraged to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You may need to give your child a plastic drinks bottle to take to school.

Most schools try to encourage healthy eating and do not let children eat crisps, sweets or chocolate.


A school dinner being servedAt lunch time, you can choose to have a school meal or bring some food from home often called a “pack-up” or “packed lunch”.

You will have to pay for school meals:

  • In primary schools, a meal costs around £2.25.
  • In secondary schools, children choose from a menu. The price of a meal can vary because items are individually priced. A good meal costs about £2.50 per day. You may also bring a pack-up from home.
  • Families on benefits may get free school meals.  
  • If your child cannot eat certain foods please tell the school. There is always a vegetarian option available as part of the menu.


A boy with a packed lunchA healthy packed lunch should contain:

  • Some bread, rice, potatoes or pasta
  • Some meat, fish, egg or beans.
  • A dairy item. This could be cheese or yoghurt.
  • Vegetables, salad or a portion of fruit.
  • A drink of water or juice – not fizzy pop

Some schools do not allow nuts because there may be pupils with allergies. Check with your child’s teacher before putting nuts in lunchboxes.


York Family Information Service and Information Service for Young People

01904 554444 / 01904 555400

Search for Childcare and Services