Do you have your lunch at school or do you go home for lunch? School dinners (lunch is also called dinner!) is a hot topic in the UK. Find out why in this article. 

Do you have lunch at school? Do you like having lunch at school? School dinners (that means ‘lunch’) are a hot topic in the UK these days and there are lots of different opinions about what young people eat at lunchtime. Some people think that school meals are unhealthy, some people say that they are much better than in the past and others say that midday meals should be free for all school children.

What is a school dinner?

A typical school dinner costs about 2 pounds a day for a secondary pupil in the UK. There is usually a main course, a dessert and a drink. Parents often pay in advance online. School dinners must include food groups such as fruit and vegetables, protein (for example meat, fish or cheese) and carbohydrate (for example rice or pasta). There are rules about how the food is prepared, for example there are limits on the quantity of fried food.

Neverseconds – the school dinners blog

Martha Payne, from Scotland, started a blog called Neverseconds about her school dinners when she was just nine years old. She posts photographs of her lunch every day and gives the food a grade out of ten. The grade depends on the quality and quantity of the food and how healthy it is. She doesn’t always give good grades. Her complaints include too much fried food, small quantities and hair in the food (yuck!). Many people read her blog and young people from all over the world post pictures of their school meals on Neverseconds.

Jamie Oliver, the celebrity British chef, is passionate about school dinners. He thinks that they need to be healthier and tastier. Jamie helped to promote Martha’s blog by tweeting about it and Neverseconds became very popular, very quickly on social media websites. On the blog, Martha also collects money for charity. The money is used to provide food for more than 600,000 poor children around the world.

Do all children have school dinners?

More than a third of British school pupils have school dinner. Some take a packed lunch, prepared at home. Others either have lunch at home or eat at nearby take-away restaurants. We asked some young people to tell us about what they eat at lunchtime on school days.

I have school dinners most days but I take a packed lunch on Fridays. This Friday I had a cheese sandwich, tomatoes, crisps, a chocolate bar and an apple juice.
Tom, 14, Dorset

Today we had pizza, salad, then an apple for dessert. I get free school meals because my mum and dad are unemployed.
Rae, 13, Hathersage

I had fish and chips today. I went to the chip shop near school with some friends. Sometimes I take a packed lunch and sometimes my parents give me money to buy lunch.
Theo, 15, Cambridge

I have school dinner every day. Today I had roast chicken, carrots, green beans and potatoes. For dessert I had cake.
Sarah, 14, Birmingham

The future for school dinners

There are plans to examine school dinners in the UK and look at ways to make them better. Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent started 'Leon', a chain of restaurants which aim to sell healthy fast food. The British government has asked the two restaurant owners to collect information about school dinners and see how they can be improved. Perhaps complaints about lunchtime food in British schools will soon be a thing of the past.


Do you have lunch at school? What did you have for lunch today?


Arivelde's picture
Arivelde 15 June, 2021 - 14:19

Yes, we have lunch at school, and it is actually very good and healthy! Today I didn't went to school, because of the pandemic, we have everything online.

1 user has voted.
Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 4 March, 2019 - 09:48

today I eta soup and chicken with rice at school cafeteria .It was very tasty .every student eat lunch school cafeteria .They don't bring own lunch box.meal in school is cheep and tasty .cafeteria where we eat lunch is very crowded .There are a lot of student .I cue 10 minute every lunch time to eat lunch.

0 users have voted.
QueenPinkBluebel's picture
QueenPinkBluebel 3 August, 2017 - 15:36

I used to have lunch at school, and it's not tasty at all. All the students think that it's disgusting, tasteless and unhealthy. Even the teachers don't like the meals. So now, I'm having my lunch at home, and it's much better, and I think that the school should change the catering. For lunch today I had rice and chicken.

0 users have voted.
Captain_illusion's picture
Captain_illusion 2 May, 2014 - 16:22

Yes, we have lunch in our school. But every day we have only porridge, different salad and cutlets. Bo-oring. :)

0 users have voted.
Ali99's picture
Ali99 10 February, 2014 - 17:54

I hate eat launch in school. because this food is f.......o . Often i eat launch in canteen. canteens food is beautiful.

0 users have voted.
Raywan's picture
Raywan 30 November, 2013 - 14:27

Yes, we do have free school dinners and it's for every student so no one are eating their packed lunch but if you didn't enjoy the meal served you could buy sandwiches, toasts and drinks at the cafeteria. Usually the food served tastes bad and sometimes I skip it.
They also serve a vegetarian dish but that's just for vegetarians so I can't take it, it usually looks very delicious. I really want to complain about this situation but they just act like nothing happened!

0 users have voted.
Matsau's picture
Matsau 28 November, 2013 - 14:22

Yes, We have lunch at my school. Everyone in my school gets lunch and no one has to have a packed lunch with them. Though we have a cafeteria in our school where you can buy toast and other things if you don't like the lunch that's served, which can be unhealthy. For lunch today i had pasta and a sandwich.

0 users have voted.
Toma English's picture
Toma English 13 August, 2013 - 01:07

We have pizzas every day but it's your own choice ,, most pupils get their lunch from home here,
P.S : I Liked the blog and I'll participate on it :)

0 users have voted.
ellen's picture
ellen 12 August, 2013 - 10:06

Hello claire.
you are china.
China it is very beatiful country.
How old are you?

0 users have voted.
claire's picture
claire 16 August, 2013 - 05:41

hello ellen.
sorry for replying you too late.
i'm 15.and you?
where do you come from?
in your country,do you use QQ or MSN?
hope to hear from you soon.
thank you.

0 users have voted.
ellen's picture
ellen 16 August, 2013 - 08:24

Hello claire.
How are you?
I am also 15.
I am from Azerbaijan.
I dont understand this-QQ or MSN.
Please, me understand.
Are you going at school?
When are you school open?
What is your hobby? How many hours a week you can pass the English language? Have you got sister and brother? Which you singers like?
You are dark hair or blonde hair ? You are tall, or undersized? Have you got some animal?
Please answer............................................

0 users have voted.
claire's picture
claire 20 August, 2013 - 08:39

i haven't visited this website for five days.
QQ is a tool that we Chinese use it to talk to each other.
now i stay at home because it is summer begins in July and finishes in August.i have to go to school on September 1st.
i love reading and many kinds of sports.
i don't have any sister or brother.
i have dark hair.i'm neither tall or short.
i keep two goldfish at home.
by the way,are you a boy or girl?what do you learn at school?what's your favorite subject?
please answer
thank you
best wishes

0 users have voted.
ellen's picture
ellen 20 August, 2013 - 13:51

Hello Claire.
Dont worry.
I am a girl. I have got long hair and brown eyes.
I will go to school 16st September. I am very excited.
I have got one brother.
What is the educational system China?
And what about you? Do you speaksome languages ?
Is there somebody for whom russian is second language?
And what about your favourite food??
Have you ever try Azerbaijanian food?
What profession do you want to have in the future?
Where are you trying to read?
Maybe can you give me advice what in your opinion is good jobs?
and..........what you read in the classroom?
I would like to hear your opinion....

0 users have voted.
claire's picture
claire 12 August, 2013 - 06:52

yes,i have lunch at school.but it doesn't taste good.i hope someday i can have chocolate at school.

0 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
SARAH K 15 August, 2013 - 22:29

Yeah, they can be dangerous too, if they're not under control. For ex. I heard that in India 11 pupils were hardly sick because the food of their school dinner was contaminated

0 users have voted.
farahmazin's picture
farahmazin 23 June, 2013 - 22:42

in jordan we dont have a school dinners but we buy from the cafeteria a sandwich and chips and many things but personaliy i bring my sandwich from my house because its delicious and my lunch today was ms7ab chicken its so delicous

0 users have voted.
yuukarin's picture
yuukarin 25 May, 2013 - 10:48

I always bring a lunch box so I want to eat school dinner.
I think school dinner in the U.K. is very luxurious to compare with Japan.

0 users have voted.
Hitomi.Y's picture
Hitomi.Y 23 May, 2013 - 16:26

It is very interesting that you can eat at school very cheep comparing to Japanese school I go to.

0 users have voted.