A report recommending improvements to school canteens is not a reaction to children turning their noses up at healthier meals, says the School Food Trust.
In 'A Fresh Look at the School Meal Experience', the Trust urges schools to improve comfort levels and reduce noise in a bid to get children eating school lunches.
But Trust chief executive Judy Hargadon said this was not an admission that the healthier food schools have been obliged to serve was driving children away.
She said research showed that there were as many secondary schools where more children were eating school lunches as there were where fewer pupils were doing so.
But she added: "The world has changed. Pupils are much more savvy consumers these days and we need to respect that."