State of the Nation - our findings

We’ve unearthed the reality of children’s food in England, with results that prompt urgent action from government.

Our latest State of the Nation report has landed, revealing what children are really eating in the early years, at school, out and about and at home.

Our team spoke to head teachers, school meal providers and caterers over an 18-month period, with shocking results.

  • 4 in 10 children leaving primary school will be overweight or obese by 2024
  • At least 60% of secondary schools are failing to comply with the School Food Standards
  • 9 out of 10 preschool children eat too much sugar

It is clear that focus needs to shift towards maintaining and improving food standards for children across the country.

Here at Food for Life, we are working with schools and caterers to lead the way in making healthy, tasty and sustainable meals the norm for all to enjoy.  An independent study reports that pupils in Food for Life schools are twice as likely to eat five a day than pupils in comparison schools. What is more, Food for Life Served Here menus provide £3 in social return for every £1 invested, according to independent research.

Child eating

Armed with the findings of the investigation, our report sets out 5 recommendations for government action and investment:

Our 5 key recommendations

  • Introduce a ‘plant protein day’ in schools
  • Set an ambitious target for organic in public procurement, including in schools
  • Ensure compliance with School Food Standards
  • Most importantly, ensure adequate funding to enable the change
  • Extend the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to artificial sweeteners

Read the full report here

Our thanks to English Tea Shop, who are pleased to support the publication of this report.

English Tea Shop

Contact us for more information on implementing Food for Life in your local area

SOTN 2019 report download

"We urge all concerned parents to ask whether their school has the Food for Life badge, as this is the only independent verification of school meal standards and ingredient quality."Rob Percival (Head of Food Policy, Soil Association)

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