Although it is not mandatory in the UK, many schools have adopted healthier lunchbox policies/guidance, which have been shared with parents and carers to encourage healthy eating in school.

Many schools suggest to parents/carers that foods high in fat, salt and sugars should not be included (such as crisps, confectionary and sugary drinks) and some schools have identified non-food based incentives for pupils to follow the healthier lunchbox policies; offering rewards such as stickers, certificates or team points. These policies aim to complement the provision already in place for school meals to help achieve a whole school food approach.

Guidance and resources on how to engage with parents and carers about healthier lunchboxes, can be found on the Food a Fact of Life website.

Communicating Healthier Lunchbox Guidance with Parents & Carers

Send out a letter to parents introducing healthier lunchbox guidance.

Regularly remind parents of healthier lunchbox guidance in the school newsletter every term/half term. Consider putting a new lunchbox recipe/idea in the newsletter alongside the guidance.

Ensure healthier lunchbox guidance is available for parents to see on the school website. Provide links to any useful websites e.g.

Invite parents to an interactive lunchbox workshop.

Set up taster sessions, where pupils and parents can taste healthier lunchbox items and take the recipes home. This could be done as an after-school activity, at a school event or at a parent evening etc. Pupils could prepare the dishes during their cooking lessons and invite parents in to taste them.

Consider including ‘providing healthy food/drink for my child’ and ‘following school healthier lunchbox guidance’ as part of the Home – school Agreement.

Discuss the healthier lunchbox guidance with parents at the new-intake induction, providing details of the types of foods/drinks that should and shouldn’t be provided in a packed lunch.