Only 1% of packed lunches as good as school dinners

Children take crisps, sweets and sugary drinks to school rather than healthy foods

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A study has revealed the shockingly unhealthy state of schoolchildren’s packed lunches.

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Researchers from the University of Leeds have found that only 1% of the packed lunches were as good nutritionally as the standards now set for school meals.

1,300 packed lunches were analysed and the most common items were found to be sandwiches, sweets, savoury snacks and sweetened drinks. Only 1 in 10 contained sandwiches with vegetables in them, while fruit was the item most often left uneaten.

Overall the packed lunches were low in fibre and high in sugar and salt, although girls tended to have and eat more healthy food than boys.

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If you’re looking for lunchbox inspiration, check out a range of fantastic toddler and family recipes on our sister site Practical Parenting, plus the Food Standards Agency has compiled weekly packed lunch menus for children of different ages

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