As primary school mealtimes cater for children aged three to eleven, menus are naturally broader, with increased allergy and dietary focus, plant-based variety, and globally-inspired nods seen across the country.
There is a greater emphasis on salads and vegetable dishes on menus, sitting alongside staple options such as mac & cheese, fish fingers, pizza and pasta.
Options such as ratatouille, curried roasted cauliflower, kung pao chickpeas, and vegetable tagine stood out as inventive dish types to gently broaden horizons, without breaking budgets, with some schools introducing lesser-known options through daily menu themes, such as 'Street food
', 'African', and 'Meat-free'.
Part of our research process sees us take a snapshot of US-based school lunches for potential inspiration, with Vietnamese noodle salads, teriyaki and bulgogi marinades for both meat and meat-free options, and stuffed pupusas (soft griddle cakes from El Salvador) in particular catching the eye.