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Last Updated: Wednesday March 25 2009 07:19 GMT

School meal rules 'too strict'

School meal

There are worries that fewer secondary school pupils in England will eat their school meals when plans go ahead to make them healthier.

Special new rules about what goes into the food come into force in September.

Lots of the catering staff think that meddling with the menu will send pupils out of the canteen and into the nearest fast-food restaurant.

However the government says that it's still possible to offer healthy food that's tasty too.

A group called The Local Authority Caterers Association who provide school meals say that the best way to keep young people in the canteen is to have one healthy option, but also offer popular food such as pizza or baguettes.

They say that the government is putting too many rules and regulation in about what food pupils can eat.

But the government says this is all really important to stop kids getting fat.

The number of primary school kids choosing school meals is starting to rise, but most still prefer a packed-lunch.

In secondary schools, the number eating school meals has fallen by over 5% since 2006.