We’ve unearthed the reality of children’s food in England, with results that will leave a bad taste in your mouth

At Food for Life, our mission is to ensure healthy, tasty and sustainable food is on the menu for every child as standard.

It is a critical time for children’s food in England. Brexit is in progress with an uncertain outcome, public and political attitudes towards the climate and nature crises are evolving at a rapid pace, and we have been promised an ambitious National Food Strategy.

Our State of the Nation 2019  report digs deeper into what children are eating in the early years and throughout school, out and about, and in the home. The results reveal that there is much work to be done.

  • At least 60% of secondary schools are failing to comply with the School Food Standards
  • 4 in 10 children leaving primary school will be overweight or obese by 2024
  • 9 out of 10 preschool children eat too much sugar
  • UK families eat the most ultra-processed diet in Europe

Child eating

The report sets out our 5 recommendations for government action which aim to tackle the inter-related crises of climate, nature and health, and highlighting the value of real, fresh food -  which is often overlooked in the hype around obesity and calories.

Our 5 key recommendations for government action and investment;

  • Introduce a ‘plant protein day’ in schools
  • Set an ambitious target for organic in public procurement, including in schools
  • Ensure compliance with School Food Standards
  • And most importantly, ensure adequate funding for school meals to enable the above
  • Extend the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to artificial sweeteners

To find out more, read the full report here.

Our thanks to English Tea Shop, who are pleased to sponsor the publication of this report.

English Tea Shop
Is your school a FFL school?

"We urge all concerned parents to ask whether their school has the Food for Life badge, as this is the only independent verification of school meal standards and ingredient quality."Rob Percival (Head of Food Policy, Soil Association)

SOTN 2019 report download