Eat well

School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS) helps your child achieve 5 A Day.

Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need and form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

It's recommended that children – like adults – eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

But research shows that on average children in England only eat about 3 portions, with many eating fewer.

For handy tips on how to get more fruit and veg into your children's diet, read 5 A Day and your family.

The SFVS and your child

If your child is aged 4 to 6 and attends a fully state-funded infant, primary or special school in England, they're entitled to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day.

That provides 1 of their 5 A Day portions, and the scheme also helps to increase awareness of the importance of eating fruit and vegetables, encouraging healthy eating habits that can be carried into later life.

Teachers find that distributing the fruit in class groups helps to encourage a sharing, calm, social time.

It also allows them to incorporate the scheme into teaching and learning.

SFVS and the school day

The fruit and vegetables are delivered to schools 3 times a week to ensure freshness.

Depending on the season, there's a choice of:

  • bananas
  • apples
  • pears
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • easy-peel citrus fruits, such as satsumas

Some schools also offer strawberries when they're in season.

All the fruit and vegetables are washed before they're handed out, which is usually just before the mid-morning break, normally in individual class groups. 

They aren't handed out at lunchtime – this ensures that the fruit and vegetables supplied aren't simply replacing the fruit and vegetables that might have been eaten at lunchtime anyway.

Other school food

Apart from the SFVS, your child has other opportunities throughout the school day to add to their 5 A Day total.

Lunches provided by all schools must include at least 1 portion of fruit and 1 portion of vegetables or salad for each pupil, every school day.

Schools are encouraged to adopt lunch menus that highlight in-season fruit and vegetables to pupils as part of their food education.

Fruit and vegetables must be provided at all school food outlets, including at breakfast clubs, tuck shops at mid-morning break and lunch, and in vending machines.

Find out more about healthy eating at school

If your child is aged 4 to 6, you can talk to their teacher to see if they're currently receiving a free piece of fruit or vegetable each day.

Schools and parents can download this factfile on the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (PDF, 1.6Mb).

Page last reviewed: Thu Aug 2018 Next review due: Mon Aug 2021

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