Three out of four of the five million lunchboxes children take to school each day fail to meet government guidelines on healthy school meals, according to newspaper reports today.

A survey by the Food Standards agency has found that around three quarters of children’s lunches are packed with fat, salt and sugar and nearly half do not contain fruit or fresh vegetables.

The survey found that although some parents appear to be cutting down on junk food items; as the number of crisps, chocolate bars and carbonated drinks all fell slightly; the average fat content had risen by three grams since last year and salt and sugar levels also remained high.

Products that were marketed as healthier alternatives for children, such as highly processed dairy items like cheese strings and sweetened yogurts, had also increased their presence in the lunchbox.

Only 11% of sandwiches are made with wholemeal bread. White bread, crisps and processed meats all contribute to a high salt content.

The FSA has set new guidelines for parents on how to make lunchboxes healthier. The agency suggests including more fruit and vegetables, nuts and fish, and swapping chocolate bars for currant buns.