Universal Infant Free School Meals

One year on from the launch of free school meals for all infants in England, 95% of parents of the children taking up the offer are recognising the benefits for their child.

Almost one quarter (23%) of parents with children eating a free infant meal say the main benefit to their child is the greater variety of food they will now eat, according to a new survey commissioned by the School Food Plan and carried out by Opinium Research. The same proportion (23%) say they most value their child eating a proper meal at lunchtime, whilst almost one fifth (19%) say their child has enjoyed trying new foods. The opportunity to eat together and socialise with friends was identified as the most important aspect by 15% of parents.

Why choose a school meal?

  • Pupils who have a hot, nutritionally balanced meal at lunchtime are more likely to have better concentration in the afternoon.
  • Children are given the opportunity to try new and different food.
  • School meals offer convenience for families with busy lifestyles.
  • Eating a school lunch teaches important social skills.
  • A school lunch offers families value for money.