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Snack and Packed Lunch Policy

Holy Cross Catholic Primary Academy

Lunchbox Policy

Jesus is the centre of our lives,

Our learning and friendships,

In a safe, happy and caring community

Where all are welcome.

Purpose of the policy

This policy is part of our whole school food policy, and aims to give clear guidance to parents and carers, pupils, governors and staff on providing a healthy packed lunch and a healthy snack at Breaktime.

We believe that a healthy packed lunch and snack can contribute to the health of children and young people and needs to be consistent with the nutritional standards provided by school meals.

This policy applies to the breaktime snack, all packed lunches consumed within school, on school trips and school journeys taking place during the school day. It also applies to packed lunches provided by the school.

Development of the policy

This snack and packed lunch policy has been developed by drawing on key government guidance associated with healthy eating and the school day. The Eatwell Plate demonstrates how to get the balance right, by showing the proportion of each of the five food groups that should be eaten each day. We have also used guidance from the Local Authority and their guidance on being a Healthy School. 

School meals, snacks and packed lunches represent a third of a child’s daily intake of foods and nutrients, which presents a great opportunity to promote healthy food choices for children and young people. The School Food Trust (SFT) provides regulations and guidance for healthy school meals, snacks  and packed lunches and this recommends that foods from the high fat and/or sugar group on the Eatwell plate (eg.crisps and chocolate) should not be included in a packed lunch, and should be consumed out of school hours.

We also ask that parents of Key Stage Two children respect the policy to support a no meat Friday in accordance with Church recommendations.

Breaktime Snack: 

Reception and Key Stage One pupils have fruit provided under a government scheme for their afternoon snack . We ask that parents send in fresh fruit or vegetables for the morning snack. 

Key Stage Two children may also only have fresh fruit and vegetables for their snack at Breaktime.

Children are not permitted to bring any other food items. It is parents responsibility to ensure that their child brings fresh fruit or vegetables to school for their snack. 

Content of packed lunches - Foods to include:

We ask that all packed lunches be based on the School Food Trust’s food based standards for packed lunches and should include the following:

  • Fruit and Vegetables: at least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables (seasonal if possible)
  • Protein: meat, fish, egg or other source of non-dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas,hummus and dhal)
  • Oily fish: such as tinned or fresh mackerel, sardines and salmon, and fresh skipjack tuna (tinned tuna is not counted as an oily fish)
  • Carbohydrate: starchy food such as bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes, chapattis and roti.
  • Dairy: food such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais, or calcium fortified soya products, reduced fat versions of these should be used where possible
  • Drinks: water only
  • Fruit based pudding such as fruit salad, tinned fruit with yoghurt or custard, fruity rice pudding,

Packed lunches should NOT include any of the following:

  • Juices, fizzy/sugary drinks in cartons, bottles or cans (including diet drinks and energy drinks which can contain high levels of caffeine and other additives which are not suitable for children)
  • Confectionery such as chocolate bars, chocolate-coated biscuits and sweets
  • Chocolate spread as a sandwich filling (as this may contain nuts) 
  • Large packets of Crisps, biscuits or cakes

Special diets and allergies
We ask Parents/Carers NOT to put any nut based products in to their child’s packed lunchbox due to any nut allergies in the school. The school recognises that some pupils may require special diets that do not follow the national food standards exactly. In this case Parents and Carers are asked to make sure that packed lunches are as healthy as possible. For these reasons pupils are also not permitted to swap food items.

Packed lunch containers

We ask that Pupils and Parents/Carers

  • Provide a packed lunch container where food items can be stored securely and appropriately until the lunchtime period
  • Bring packed lunches in reusable plastic containers, rather than disposable plastic bags and bottles.


Staff commit to support a whole school approach, staff are encouraged to comply with the policy when bringing in packed lunches and eating these with pupils.

Facilities for packed lunches

We will

  • provide appropriate facilities to store packed lunches,
  • provide free, fresh drinking water
  • provide appropriate dining room arrangements for all pupils, regardless of whether they have school lunches or packed lunches.


To promote healthy eating we will regularly monitor the content of snacks, packed lunches and involve pupils and staff. We will talk to parents and carers where necessary and offer advice and guidance on bringing healthy packed lunches.

We will confiscate snack items that are not fruit and vegetables, however we will not confiscate lunch box food items if they are unhealthy as this is a child's main meal. We will speak to the parents at the end of the day. If children continue to bring in unhealthy items, the Headteacher  will meet with the parents. Children are to be rewarded with stickers and certificates for eating a healthy packed lunch and trying new foods.

Working with parents and carers

We hope that all parents and carers will support this packed lunch policy. We will offer advice and guidance to parents/carers on packed lunches. We will send out reminders each term to parents and offer workshops with the Healthy eating team to parents about how to provide a healthy packed lunch box. We will also give out recipe ideas in our newsletters.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed as part of the schools agreed policy review process. In addition, any major legislative or governmental changes regarding school food may lead to this policy being amended

Holy Cross CatholicPrimary Academy

Tracyes Road, Harlow,

Essex, CM18 6JJ

01279 424452