PRIMARY school pupils will taste foods from across the globe a week on Friday – the first ever International School Meals Day.
All primaries are offering special French, Italian or Chinese menus alongside normal menu choices.
The celebration of school meals is backed by governmental and educational organisations and nutrition watchdogs.
Its aims are to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritional midday meal and to emphasise the connection between diet and better learning.
Chris Wilson, schools catering manager, said: ‘International School Meals Day really highlights how important school meals are now considered in so many countries, with the USA being the latest country to introduce stricter rules in order that their school meals served meet health standards.’
Schools opting for the French menu will serve up French-style chicken with peas and ham, sauté potatoes and French cheese with baguette and grapes.
Those going Italian will enjoy Neapolitan pizza, red and green salads and zeppole, a doughnut with topping.
On the Chinese menu is sweet and sour chicken with Chinese style vegetables, special rice and a lychee pudding.
The Department of Education and Children’s School Meals Service serves up to 3,500 meals a day.
School meals exceed key nutritional standards in areas such as fibre, protein, zinc and calcium.
They keep within standards on fat, salt and sugars.
Mr Wilson said meals cost £1.95 a day and menus are rotated on a four-weekly cycle, and completely changed twice a year, to ensure children enjoy a good variety of food.’