Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:57 UK

Pupils prepare for healthier menu

At least two portions of fruit and vegetables will be offered at lunchtime

Primary school pupils are set to be fed a healthier diet from next term.

Under new regulations, schools will have to offer at least two portions of fruit and vegetables every lunchtime.

Deep fried food will also be limited to three items a week and free drinking water will be made available to pupils throughout the day.

The new guidelines will take effect in Scotland's primary schools from August and be implemented in secondary schools from 3 August 2009.

Speaking during a visit to Cornton Primary School in Stirling, Schools Minister Maureen Watt said sweets and fizzy drinks would be removed from school premises and chips only served as part of a balanced meal.

'Physical activities'

"Putting healthy options on a plate for pupils every day will develop their taste for the food that's good for them and stop unhealthy habits from taking hold," she said.

"That means they benefit on a daily basis and for the rest of their lives."

Kitchens are already serving a healthier selection of lunches under the Hungry for Success scheme launched two years ago.

Ms Watt said the health and wellbeing message would not stop at the school dinner hall, with the Scottish Government publishing new guidelines on teaching the subject as part of its Curriculum for Excellence.

Under the programme, schools will be expected to offer youngsters a minimum of two hours of physical education a week.

Ms Watt added: "This will give children and young people an important foundation for participation in experiences in physical activities and sport in preparation for a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle."

Guidance on teaching good food practice forms part of the government's Health and Wellbeing "draft outcomes", which is published on Tuesday.

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