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School Food Trust: Free meals can improve academic performance

15/12/2009 Joanna
Studies have shown that providing children with healthy free meals can help boost academic performances in primary schools, says the School Food Trust.

According to the organisation, created by the Department for Education and Skills, academic performances were noticeably raised in disadvantaged regions of London a year after the introduction of breakfast clubs.

Chris Wainwright, director of communications for the School Food Trust, said this could be because school meals tend to be healthier than packed lunches brought in from home.

Mr Wainwright commented: "There is a growing body of evidence to support what has long been anecdotally recognised that suggests a definite link between what children eat and their behaviour and performance."

The expert added that while just six per cent of children bringing meals from home choose to include vegetables, but the figure rises to nearly 75 per cent when they eat school meals.

Free school meal pilot programmes were recently introduced in County Durham and Newham, according to the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Posted by Harriet McGowan.
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