Lack of nutrition in packed lunches for children
The University of Leeds researchers find that fewer than two in every 100 packed lunches eaten by children in English primary schools meet nutritional standards. The researchers blame the lack of fresh food for drop in essential vitamins and minerals. Just one in five children having any vegetables or salad in their packed lunch. They recommend that the government should consider making fresh vegetables freely available in schools. They also urge the food industry to look at ways of making it easier for parents and carers to select healthier food options for their children.
The researchers argue that measures to increase fruit, vegetable and water consumption are “critically needed”. Providing free salad vegetables at primary school for children having a packed lunch could be one way to achieve this, they said.
The researchers also believe that time constraints play a part in what parents and carers decide to put in their children’s lunchboxes and that the food industry should develop more lunchbox-friendly healthy options.