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Why should I choose a school lunch for my child?
Child enjoying lunch from Westminster Cathedral School

Westminster City Council is committed to providing a high quality, healthy, nutritious school meals service that meets the needs of schools and their pupils.  There are many benefits for choosing a school meal.

  • 95% of the menu is produced in the kitchen using fresh ingredients.
  • Three main course choices one of which is always vegetarian, (although some schools have opted to have two main course choices only).
  • Fresh potatoes and at least two other vegetables one of which is a fresh vegetable.
  • Four different salads available each day.
  • Home baked crusty bread available each day.
  • Fresh milk and water is available each day.
  • Choice of two desserts daily one of which is always a selection of fresh fruit pieces and the other a hot or cold fruit based dessert.
  • No salt is added to the food.
  • Food that is appropriate to cultural and religious needs.
  • Food that meets the needs of children with special dietary requirements.
  • Regular monitoring of the service by City Council Officers.    

All the menus meet with the 2008 nutrient based standards. There is a chart available to show the nutritional analysis of the three and two choice menu on the individual menu page. The chart shows the recommended lunchtime nutrition standards for schoolchildren.

Fibre is made available each day through the provision of crusty bread, rice or pasta, salads and fresh fruit.

  • Semi-skimmed milk is used for the preparation of milk based sauces
  • Low fat vegetarian cheese and low fat vegetable based margarine.
  • Thick, straight cut chips, which absorb less fat, are only served once a week.
  • No processed potato products.
  • Reduced amounts of sugar are used in the preparation of puddings and where possible natural fruit sugars are used.
  • Salt is omitted from recipes and is not available at counters or tables except for cultural reasons.

The Department of Health recommends that a child eats five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, the City Council offers a choice of two vegetables and four salad choices and a child can take all six!

If your child has a special dietary need let the school know and provide a copy of the diet sheet or letter from your child’s doctor or dietician.  We will try and ensure that the appropriate food is available.

Social experience

Having a school meal with friends encourages the development of good eating habits and other social skills.  It also allows children to try and experience a variety of tastes, textures and combination of foods and to practice choices.


Research has shown that behaviour and concentration levels overall improve in children who have a balanced school meal.

Free School Meals

If you receive the following support payments your child will be entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support;
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance;
  • supported under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;  or
  • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, that does not exceed £16,190.00
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

If you think you might be entitled to Free School Meals there is an application form on our links page to fill out and return to your child’s school. Or call 020 7641 3412 for more information.

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