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Publication - Guidance

Healthy eating in schools: a guide to implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008

Published: 17 Sep 2008
Part of:
Education, Farming and rural, Health and social care
ISBN:
9780755958306

Guidance on implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

92 page PDF

367.7kB

92 page PDF

367.7kB

Contents
Healthy eating in schools: a guide to implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008
Section 4: Drink standards for schools (Schedules 2 and 4)

92 page PDF

367.7kB

Section 4: Drink standards for schools (Schedules 2 and 4)

Schools must comply with the drink standards shown below. These standards apply both to drinks provided at the school lunch and to drinks provided in food and drink outwith the school lunch service.

At a glance - drink standards for schools

The only drinks permitted in schools are:

  • Plain water (still or carbonated)
  • Skimmed, semi-skimmed milk and other lower fat milks
  • Milk drinks and drinking yoghurts*
  • Soya, rice or oat drinks enriched with calcium*
  • Tea and coffee*
  • Fruit juices and vegetable juices*
  • A blend containing any of the following ingredients, either singly or in combination*:
    • fruit
    • vegetable
    • fruit juice
    • vegetable juice
  • Water and fruit and/or vegetable juice combination drinks*

* Refer to the table on the following pages for details on specific criteria for these drinks.

Which drinks can be provided in schools?

Table 3: List of drinks permitted in schools

Drinks permitted

Reason

Plain water

Pupils must have easy access at all times to free, fresh drinking water.

Mineral water (still and carbonated) is permitted

Water quenches thirst and does not damage teeth.

Milk

Semi-skimmed, skimmed or other lower fat milks.

Milks lower in fat, for example semi-skimmed and skimmed milk, are a good source of protein. They also contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, which is needed to build healthy bones and teeth.

Milk is not harmful to teeth. The high levels of calcium and phosphate in milk help to remineralise tooth enamel after it has been exposed to sugary or acidic substances (e.g. acidic flavourings).

Milk, especially skimmed milk, contains a high percentage of water, and therefore is good for hydration.

Milk drinks and drinking yoghurts*

Milk drinks and drinking yoghurts (hot or cold) that comply with the criteria below, e.g. hot chocolate/cocoa, milk shakes and smoothies (made with milk or yoghurt).

Criteria:

  • no more than 1.8g of total fat per 100ml
  • no more than 10g of total sugars per 100ml

and

no more than 20g of total sugars per portion size

Milk drinks and drinking yoghurts contain a number of useful nutrients including protein, vitamins and minerals that contribute positively to the diets of children and young people.

Flavoured milks are a useful way of encouraging pupils to consume milk provided that they do not contain too much added sugar. Milk naturally contains approximately 4.5g of sugar per 100ml in the form of lactose.

The high levels of calcium and phosphate in milk help to remineralise tooth enamel after it has been exposed to sugary or acidic substances (e.g. acidic flavourings).

Soya, rice or oat drinks*

Soya, rice or oat drinks enriched with calcium and lower in fat and sugar (see criteria below)

Criteria:

  • no more than 1.8g of total fat per 100ml
  • no more than 5g of total sugars per 100ml
  • no more than 10g of total sugars per portion size

Soya, rice or oat drinks enriched with calcium can serve as an alternative to cow's milk, especially for pupils who do not like cow's milk or who are allergic to cow's milk.

Tea and coffee

  • The use of milk in these drinks is restricted to semi-skimmed or skimmed milk

Allows additional choice for pupils.

Advice is provided on page 46 to limit tea and coffee to secondary school pupils only.

Fruit juice and vegetable juice

  • Any variety of unsweetened fruit juice is acceptable provided the portion size is no more than 200ml.
  • Fruit juice made entirely or partially from concentrate is also acceptable provided it is unsweetened and the portion size is no more than 200ml.
  • Any variety of vegetable juice is also acceptable provided it is unsweetened, unsalted and the portion size is no more than 200ml.
  • A combination of fruit juice and vegetable juice is also acceptable provided it is unsweetened and unsalted and the portion size is no more than 200ml.

Fruit juice and vegetable juices contain lots of valuable vitamins and minerals.

A glass of fruit juice (150ml) counts as one portion of the recommended amount of five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

However, fruit juice cannot make up more than one portion of fruit and vegetable in any one day, irrespective of how much is drunk.

This is because when juice is extracted from the whole fruit, it reduces the fibre content and releases sugars from the fruit that can damage teeth, especially if drunk frequently. The acidity of fruit juices can also be harmful to teeth.

Guidance is provided on page 46 to limit these drinks to mealtimes only.

Fruit/vegetable blends*

A blend containing any of the following ingredients, either singly or in combination:

• fruit
• vegetable
• fruit juice
• vegetable juice

with no added sugar or salt and a maximum portion size of 200ml, e.g. fruit/vegetable smoothies.

These blended drinks can be popular with pupils and can count towards one of the recommended five or more portions of fruit and vegetables that we should eat every day.

However, only one glass (150ml) counts as one portion of the 'five-a-day' recommendation, irrespective of amount drunk.

When fruit is juiced or blended, sugar is released from the fruit that can damage teeth, especially if these drinks are drunk frequently throughout the day. The acidity of these drinks can also be harmful to teeth.

Guidance is provided on page 46 to limit these drinks to mealtimes only.

Combinations of water and fruit and/or vegetable juice*

  • Drinks made with a combination of water
    (still or carbonated) and fruit and/or
    vegetable juice (see criteria).

Criteria:

  • no added sugar
  • no more than 20g of sugar per portion size
  • 50% or more fruit or vegetable juice

and

  • no more than 200ml fruit or vegetable juice

Allows additional choice for pupils.

Guidance is provided on page 46 to limit these drinks to mealtimes only.

* These combination drinks are legally permitted to contain sweeteners, colours, flavourings and other 'miscellaneous' additives such as preservatives, antioxidants and stabilisers as specified under EU law. They are also permitted to contain added minerals and vitamins.

EU legislation is being updated on flavourings, additives and enzymes permitted in foodstuffs, and advice on the latest position can be obtained from the Food Standards Agency.

Why is this standard important?

There is significant concern about the level of sugar consumption by Scottish children and young people, particularly in relation to sugary soft drinks 9 .

Sugary soft drinks provide little in nutritive value except calories from sugars, and these sugars can contribute to tooth decay. The excess consumption of sugary soft drinks also imbalances the diet, which in turn may displace important nutrients in the diet or may contribute to weight gain.

It is recognised that the frequent consumption of soft drinks, including sugar free varieties (e.g. sugar-free/diet fizzy drinks and flavoured waters), can also contribute to tooth erosion because of the acid nature of these drinks (e.g. from acidic flavourings).

Practical guidance

Table 4 helps to interpret the drinks standard for schools.

  • The 'YES' section specifies which drinks must be available at all times, and lists the other drinks that are allowed to be provided in school.
  • The 'SELECT WITH CARE' section lists the drinks that are allowed to be provided in schools, but which must be carefully selected to ensure that the criteria specified by the standards are met.
  • The 'NO' section lists examples of the types of drinks that are no longer allowed to be provided in schools.

YES

SELECT WITH CARE

NO

Drinking water must be available:

TickFree drinking water must be available in schools at all times

Drinks that are allowed to be provided:

TickMineral water (still or carbonated)

TickSemi-skimmed, skimmed milk or lower fat milks

There is a range of other drinks permitted by the Regulations but these drinks must be carefully selected (see the 'Select with care' column)

Other drinks that are allowed to be provided if specific criteria are met:

Milk drinks (hot or cold) containing:

  • no more than 1.8g of total fat per 100ml
  • no more than 10g of total sugars per 100ml and
  • no more than 20g of total sugars per portion size.

Drinking yoghurts containing:

  • no more than 1.8g of total fat per 100ml
  • no more than 10g of total sugars per 100ml and
  • no more than 20g of total sugars per portion size.

Soya, rice or oat drinks enriched with calcium containing:

  • no more than 1.8g of total fat per 100ml
  • no more than 5g of total sugars per 100ml and
  • no more than 10g of total sugars per portion size.

Any variety of fruit juice or vegetable juice (including fruit juice made from concentrate or partially made from concentrate) which meets the following criteria:

  • unsweetened and unsalted
  • a portion size of no more than 200ml.

A blend containing any of the following ingredients,either singly or in combination:

  • fruit
  • fruit juice
  • vegetable
  • vegetable juice

and with no added sugar or salt and a maximum portion size of 200ml.

Drinks made with a combination of water (still or carbonated) and fruit and/or vegetable juice which contains:

  • no added sugar
  • no more than 20g of sugar per portion size
  • 50% or more fruit or vegetable juice and
  • no more than 200ml fruit or vegetable juice.

Tea and coffee - the use of any milk in these drinks should be restricted to semi-skimmed, skimmed milk and other lower fat milks.

Examples of drinks that are no longer allowed:

crossNo soft drinks
(still or carbonated) including flavoured waters
(the only exception is the combination drinks that meet the criteria set out in the 'select with care' column).

crossNo sugar-free soft drinks
(still or carbonated) including flavoured waters

crossNo sweetened fruit juice

cross No sweetened or salted vegetable juice

cross No squashes/cordials including lower sugar and 'no added sugar' versions

crossNo whole milk

cross No sport drinks

Guidance

Advice on fruit juice and dental health

It is advisable to limit fruit juice to mealtimes. When fruit is juiced or blended, sugars are released from the cells of the fruit. Frequent exposure to these sugars damages teeth. Also, acids in fruit juice can cause dental erosion, a condition, which damages tooth enamel.

This advice applies to all fruit juice regardless of where it is found, e.g. smoothies, combinations of fruit juice and water.

Advice on the provision of tea and coffee to primary school children

Tea and coffee may reduce the amount of iron absorbed from food. Therefore it is advisable not to serve these drinks to young children whose intakes of iron may be low due to small appetites.


Contact

Email: Central Enquiries Unit, ceu@gov.scot

Post:
The Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG