Why Have a School Lunch?

Our Meals Explained

Derbyshire Catering Service are fully aware of the need to offer menu’s which meet both the student’s requirements and the relevant nutritional guidelines as set out by the Government’s School Food Standards.

The School Food Standards are based on food groups and are intended to help students develop healthy eating habits and to ensure they get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day. Foods which are less nutritionally beneficial have restrictions on the amount they are to be served in a week. More details can be found at the following address:


Our Menu Development Officer has carefully devised a flexible menu that allows our Catering Managers and students to take ownership of the food items served in school whilst still meeting the requirements of the standards. This will allow a much faster and responsive menu offer being offered with less popular items being swapped out in timely manner.

We recognise that student engagement is key to the success of providing a popular menu increasing the uptake of a nutritiously balanced meal, we actively promote this engagement by meeting with the Catering Manager and pupils – often through the school council, and talking them through the School Food Standards, and then asking them to take the menu template back to their peers to make their selections. The following week we return to the school to go over the pupils choices and create a bespoke menu – ‘Your menu – chosen by you.’ This unique method of empowering the staff and pupils with the freedom to create a compliant menu has proven popular and motivating.

Daily there will be a choice of:

Meal Type


Frequency of Serving Per Day

Hot Main Meal

Chicken Curry

2 and at least 1 meal will be   vegetarian

Hot Snacks

Jacket Potato, Pasta, Hot Wrap

Minimum of 2

Deli Range

Salad Pot, Sandwiches, Wraps

Freely available

Side Dishes - Carbohydrates

Pasta, Rice, Garlic Bread, Bread Roll

Minimum of 2

Side Dishes - Vegetables &   Salad

Broccoli, Carrots, Crunchy   Coleslaw

Minimum of 2


Fruit Crumble & Custard, Flapjack, Yoghurt,   Fruit

Maximum of 3

Click here to view a sample menu.

 To be school food compliant the following must be observed:

  • shaped meat products can only be served a maximum of twice a week (i.e. sausages, homemade burgers, homemade meatballs etc. )
  • fried potato products served a maximum of twice a week
  • oily fish served once in a three week cycle
  • breaded products once a week

This provides a healthier meal for all pupils which we hope will shape a healthier lifestyle and future. It also means that pupils won’t be served pizza and chips every day and that the pupils understand the reasons why these types of foods can’t be served freely.

We understand the need to provide pupils with food that they enjoy whilst still giving healthier options, therefore when a menu change is due we will speak with the school council to discuss the changes and to obtain their views.