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Last Updated: Wednesday March 30 2005 17:42 GMT

Jamie gets you healthier lunches

Jamie Oliver
The government has promised to spend an extra 280 million on making school lunches in England healthier - after a campaign by TV chef Jamie Oliver.

The announcement came on the day Jamie delivered a petition to Downing Street demanding more money is spent on meals.

The government has now promised to spend at least 50p a day in primary schools, and 60p in secondary. At the moment about 40p is spent on each meal.

But the education secretary says she always planned better school lunches.

Chef Jamie has spent months campaigning for healthier school meals, and described the government's new plans as "a massive improvement".

He told reporters outside the Prime Minister's house: "It is certainly very positive - 20 years too late but we are talking about the right sort of money."

Over 250,000 people have signed Jamie's Feed Me Better internet petition.

'Fresh and healthy food'

School lunch
The education secretary Ruth Kelly says she wants school children to eat healthy food prepared fresh on school premises by trained school cooks.

Extra cash will also be spent on teaching you and your parents how to eat more healthily.

On Tuesday the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Steve Sinnott, launched a campaign to get at least 1 per child spent on the ingredients of school lunches.

Your thoughts on more cash for school dinners:

I think it is well worth it after all half of Britain's population is overweight, and I don't think I want to be like them.
Joe, 13, Swindon

I think that more cash for school dinners is good because extra is spent on eating healthier.
Anna, 11, Lancaster

I think it a good idea because our school meals are horrible and I think that money will help develop better, healthier school meals.
Isabell, 13, Hatfield

About time they make school dinners nicer and healthier. I will choose healthy food if it is available. At my school you only get healthy food if you are first sitting! I think it is rubbish!
Jobhan, 13, Birmingham

I think that this is an excellent idea because the size of children at schools is getting out of proportion and by the Government paying schools extra money will mean that children will be used to healthier foods at a smaller age.
Afsana, 12, Bolton

I think it is a waste of money because at the end of the day we are given the choice of what we want to eat for lunch at school. And they won't be able to force us to eat anything we don't want to eat.
Fouzia, 12, Birmingham

I'm so happy Jamie took up this big task and is making such a difference to the future of school meals! Well done!
Rachel, 14, Newcastle

I think that it is a good idea to spend more money on healthier school meals. At my school, I think there isn't enough healthy food. Some kids at my school just grab a burger or a hot dog or a couple of cakes and go and eat that.
Aisha, 12, Slough

I think that the food we have is so unhealthy and we should be eating healthier food. If there was healthy food that I liked I would buy it but there isn't.
Katie, 12, Manchester

I don't think it is a very good idea because if there's more cash for schools then it will either be that the money is put aside for more healthy rubbish (chips etc.) or it is put into healthy meals which are really expensive so nobody will buy them.
Kate, 13, Nottingham

I think it's a good idea because if people don't go for school dinners they just go to the chippy or McDonalds!
Heather, 12, East Kilbride

It's a really good idea because our school lunch is horrible so I take sandwiches instead.
Jasmine, 11, Wrexham

I think children need to be pushed at a young age to eat healthily, to prevent them becoming overweight in the future. I like my pizza and chips, but I also like a healthy option as well, and we just don't get that at school. I look at the school's burgers and it makes me feel sick.
Charlotte, 13, Altrincham

I think Jamie's done a great job raising this issue and it's good to see healthy meals being introduced. THANKS JAMIE.
Keith, 14, London

I think it's a good idea but why haven't they done it sooner? I mean there had to be a telly programme on it for it to get through to people.
Charlotte, 13, Kirkham

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