55 min

Big Dietetic Debate: Free School Meals - where are we now and what more still needs to be done‪?‬ The Dietitian Cafe

    • Health & Fitness

In today’s debate episode we’ll be discussing free school meals: where are we now and what more still needs to be done. As we’ve started the new school year, it’s one that sees all primary children in London receiving free school meals for a year in response to the cost-of-living crisis. In this episode, we talk to Isabel Rice, a registered dietitian and London food poverty campaigner coordinator at Sustain, and Dayna Brackley, a senior food policy consultant working on child health and nutrition at Bremner & co to discuss the role that school meals play in improving the health and quality of life of our future generation. We look at what’s currently being done to ensure that children get the energy and nutrition they need for their school day, and we also discuss how the cost-of-living crisis in the UK has affected the quality of school foods and whether free school meals are fully compliant with the school food standards.

Dayna is a Senior Food Policy Consultant at Bremner & Co, a small organisation working on child health and nutrition. Dayna works with campaigners, local governments, NGO’s and charities in the food system sector on projects looking to improve children’s nutrition across the lifecourse - from breastfeeding to higher education. She specialises on children’s experience of food within settings and institutions - early years childcare, school food and food in higher education.
Isabel joined Sustain in September 2022 to coordinate the London Food Poverty Campaign which highlights and encourages sustainable responses to food poverty. Isabel works closely with local authorities and food partnerships on measures to address the root causes of food poverty. She leads on the Good Food for All Londoners report, which benchmarks councils and aims to inspire leadership on food policy and practice in the capital.

Show Notes
Bremner and co - https://bremnerco.com/
School food review group - https://www.schoolfoodmatters.org/what-we-do/campiagns/food-policy/school-food-review
Sustain - https://www.sustainweb.org
London Food Link - https://www.sustainweb.org/londonfoodlink/
Mayor of London scheme free school meals - https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/what-mayor-does/priorities-london/free-school-meals
Fix Our Food - https://fixourfood.org/
Good Food for All Londoners - https://www.sustainweb.org/good-food-for-all-londoners/
Say Yes to School Food for All - https://www.sustainweb.org/school-food-for-all/
Sweden universal free school meals - https://microeconomicinsights.org/the-long-term-benefits-of-better-school-lunches/
PWC- Cost-benefit analysis of free school meals - https://urbanhealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FSM-Full-Report.pdf
Impacts of local authority Universal Free School Meal schemes on child obesity and household food expenditure - https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/files/misoc/reports/explainers/Impacts-of-local-authority.pdf#:~:text=Receiving%20universal%20free%20school%20meals%20reduces%20prevalence%20of,1.3%20and%201.4%20percentage%20points%20reduction%20in%20obesity
Child Poverty Action Group - Free School Meals - https://cpag.org.uk/fsm
School Food Standards - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools
School Food Review - The Superpowers of Free School Meals https://foodfoundation.org.uk/initiatives/superpowers-free-school-meals
End the postcode lottery - https://www.sustainweb.org/news/sep23-end-the-school-food-postcode-lottery/
Bite back - Food policy - https://www.biteback2030.com
School Food Matters - https://www.schoolfoodmatters.org
‘There’s only so much we can do’ School staff in England on the impact of poverty on children and school life - https://cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/policypost/Education_Anti-Poverty_Coalition_Report_2023.pdf
BDA Food Factsheet: Eat Well, Spend Less - https://www.bda.uk.com/static/79f95550-641b-4523-8332b11175ddbf9e/Eat-well-Spend-less-food-fact-sheet.pd

In today’s debate episode we’ll be discussing free school meals: where are we now and what more still needs to be done. As we’ve started the new school year, it’s one that sees all primary children in London receiving free school meals for a year in response to the cost-of-living crisis. In this episode, we talk to Isabel Rice, a registered dietitian and London food poverty campaigner coordinator at Sustain, and Dayna Brackley, a senior food policy consultant working on child health and nutrition at Bremner & co to discuss the role that school meals play in improving the health and quality of life of our future generation. We look at what’s currently being done to ensure that children get the energy and nutrition they need for their school day, and we also discuss how the cost-of-living crisis in the UK has affected the quality of school foods and whether free school meals are fully compliant with the school food standards.

Dayna is a Senior Food Policy Consultant at Bremner & Co, a small organisation working on child health and nutrition. Dayna works with campaigners, local governments, NGO’s and charities in the food system sector on projects looking to improve children’s nutrition across the lifecourse - from breastfeeding to higher education. She specialises on children’s experience of food within settings and institutions - early years childcare, school food and food in higher education.
Isabel joined Sustain in September 2022 to coordinate the London Food Poverty Campaign which highlights and encourages sustainable responses to food poverty. Isabel works closely with local authorities and food partnerships on measures to address the root causes of food poverty. She leads on the Good Food for All Londoners report, which benchmarks councils and aims to inspire leadership on food policy and practice in the capital.

Show Notes
Bremner and co - https://bremnerco.com/
School food review group - https://www.schoolfoodmatters.org/what-we-do/campiagns/food-policy/school-food-review
Sustain - https://www.sustainweb.org
London Food Link - https://www.sustainweb.org/londonfoodlink/
Mayor of London scheme free school meals - https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/what-mayor-does/priorities-london/free-school-meals
Fix Our Food - https://fixourfood.org/
Good Food for All Londoners - https://www.sustainweb.org/good-food-for-all-londoners/
Say Yes to School Food for All - https://www.sustainweb.org/school-food-for-all/
Sweden universal free school meals - https://microeconomicinsights.org/the-long-term-benefits-of-better-school-lunches/
PWC- Cost-benefit analysis of free school meals - https://urbanhealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FSM-Full-Report.pdf
Impacts of local authority Universal Free School Meal schemes on child obesity and household food expenditure - https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/files/misoc/reports/explainers/Impacts-of-local-authority.pdf#:~:text=Receiving%20universal%20free%20school%20meals%20reduces%20prevalence%20of,1.3%20and%201.4%20percentage%20points%20reduction%20in%20obesity
Child Poverty Action Group - Free School Meals - https://cpag.org.uk/fsm
School Food Standards - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools
School Food Review - The Superpowers of Free School Meals https://foodfoundation.org.uk/initiatives/superpowers-free-school-meals
End the postcode lottery - https://www.sustainweb.org/news/sep23-end-the-school-food-postcode-lottery/
Bite back - Food policy - https://www.biteback2030.com
School Food Matters - https://www.schoolfoodmatters.org
‘There’s only so much we can do’ School staff in England on the impact of poverty on children and school life - https://cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/policypost/Education_Anti-Poverty_Coalition_Report_2023.pdf
BDA Food Factsheet: Eat Well, Spend Less - https://www.bda.uk.com/static/79f95550-641b-4523-8332b11175ddbf9e/Eat-well-Spend-less-food-fact-sheet.pd

55 min

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