The Food Standards Agency has issued a list of lunchbox menu ideas and tips to help parents prepare healthier school packed lunches.

The initiative is in reaction to a survey by the FSA, which found that 90% of children’s school lunchboxes contained foods that were too high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

The survey of 556 home packed lunches from 24 primary schools across the UK revealed that children were eating as much as twice the recommended amount of sugar, nearly half of the daily recommended salt intake and high levels of saturated fats.

Only 21% of the packed lunches met the minimum standard set for primary school meals.

FSA chef and board member Robert Rees said: “Small changes to what children eat now can have
a big impact on their diet and health. Healthy options needn’t be boring and the aim is that these tips and lunchbox suggestions will be popular not only with parents but also with the children eating them.”

Food and Drink Federation deputy director general Martin Paterson said: “The FSA’s suggested lunchbox menus recognise that confectionery, crisps, snacks and treats can be included in a ‘healthy’ lunchbox.”