Crown Wood Primary

Crown Wood
Primary School

School Meals & Packed Lunches

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The food children eat in school is very important to their education. Not only does a well-balanced diet help with general health, but establishing healthy eating habits at a young age can set them on the right path for the future. 

School meals are cooked on-site by our directly employed kitchen team, led by our experienced cook.  The kitchen team are supported by David Marsh, the Regional Catering Manager, and Luis De Abreu, the Head of Catering for the Trust.   Not being part of the Bracknell Forest school meals contract means we have more control over both food standards and what we offer the children.  We tailor our menus to take into account the children's likes and dislikes to encourage maximum uptake.

All children in their Reception Year and Key Stage 1 are eligible for a free school meal every day.

For Key Stage 2 pupils, payment needs to be made online via My Child at School (MCAS)  The price of a school meal is £2.50. We no longer accept cash for school dinners. On using the website for the first time you will need to register using your email address. 

Meals are ordered in the classroom at morning registration.  Parents of younger children may wish to discuss meal choices in advance with them.  However, we generally find it is best the children choose for themselves as they are more likely to eat a meal they want and it helps to build independence and decision making skills.

Children are able to choose from a main meal, a vegetarian option, jacket potato (with a choice of topping) and a baguette option. Salad and bread are available in addition.  There is a pudding of the day, yoghurt or fruit for desert. 

Please note we have been informed by our Regional Catering Team that there is a nationwide shortage of potatoes due to poor weather, resulting in our suppliers being unable to guarantee delivery.  This may result in the removal of the Jacket Potato option on any given day - we will, of course, ensure your child is offered an alternative meal.   

Packed Lunches

Healthy snacks (a piece of fresh fruit or vegetables) are allowed at break times.  Children may have a NAMED bottle of plain water to drink in class throughout the day.

If your child prefers a packed lunch please provide it in a strong, named lunch box.  Sweets, chocolate, nuts and fizzy drinks are not allowed.  Drinks should be in a carton or plastic container.

Nut Free Zone

A number of children at our school have a severe allergy to nuts.  If they eat food containing nuts they will become unwell.  In some cases, children can become unwell by indirect contact, for example shaking the hand of someone who has touched nuts or using utensils when nuts have been in contact with them.  If they have a mild reaction, a child will have to take an antihistamine tablet, but a severe (life threatening) reaction could result in anaphylaxis (e.g. difficulty breathing, throat tightening etc) which requires an adrenaline auto-injector called an Epipen.

To keep children with nut allergies safe, our school meals are ‘nut free’ and we ask parents who send in snacks and packed lunches to avoid nuts and food containing nuts.  In particular, the following must not be sent into school in packed lunches: 

  • Packs of nuts
  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Fruit and cereal bars that contain nuts
  • Chocolate bars or sweets that contain nuts
  • Sesame seed rolls (children allergic to nuts may also have a severe reaction to sesame)
  • Cakes made with nuts

Items which ‘may contain nuts’ (i.e. there could have been cross contamination, but nuts are not an ingredient) are acceptable, but please be cautious.   

To help everyone remember to be ‘nut aware’ we will be placing ‘Nut Free Zone’ posters on our external doors.

School Meal Debt

We have a strict NO DEBT policy relating to the provision of school meals. 

If debts are incurred, then the school budget has to pay for them. This means that money that should be spent on the children’s education is used to pay for debts incurred by some parents.  We are sure you would agree this is both unfair and unacceptable.

It is a parents’ responsibility to ensure that their child is provided with a meal at school:  either a packed lunch or a school meal.  Parents are responsible for ensuring school meals are paid for in advance.

The Trust cannot and will not permit any debts outstanding. Therefore, a policy is required to ensure school meal debts are kept to a minimum.  Our overall aim is that meals are paid for, whilst aiding parents / carers during financial difficulties and ensuring children still receive a meal at lunchtime.  

Free School Meals (FSM)

If you believe you are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM), please use the Online Free School Meal Checker.  The system allows you to check your eligibility online, without having to complete and submit the paper copy of the form.  The link to the online application system can be found at

If you have any problems completing the application, a guidance document is available for you by email, and the school office will also be able to help.  Alternatively, if you would like the school to complete the application on your behalf complete the attached registration form and return it to the school office.