The National Health Service says it has added healthy snacks to its shopping list, with a range of healthy snacks including apple cider vinegar, bananas, applesauce and butter to buy for school lunches and snacks for teachers.
Health Minister Jo Swinson said the snacks were part of a wider strategy to ensure all children have a healthy diet.
The Health Department said the healthy snacks are part of its Healthy Schools programme, which aims to help ensure all school children have access to nutritious food.
Ms Swinson, who is in her fourth year at the job, said the new healthy snacks would be on shelves by the end of the year.
“We’ve seen how well these products are working in schools and I’m pleased that we’re able to continue to improve the nutrition and health of our students,” she said.
The government said the changes would include a range more than 60 foods, including: applesaucer, apple cider, peanut butter, banana, eggs, beef jerky, milk, chocolate bars, bread, biscuits, cereals, crisps, crisping powder, crackers, crackling powder, crisped and cooked corn, cracklings, dried fruit, dried meat, dried vegetables, fruit drinks, fresh fruit, fresh meat, honey, honey products, juice, milk shakes, nuts, potato chips, puddings, potato crisps and potato chips for adults.
Ms Swinson added the new snacks would have to be bought by school staff.
“This is part of the healthy schools campaign, which is designed to help all schools achieve better results and healthier lifestyles,” she added.
She said the Healthy Schools campaign was helping to promote healthy eating habits.
Last month, Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced that healthy foods were to be available to buy in supermarkets across the country by the start of next year.
The health secretary said it would include fruit drinks and cereals as well as whole grains, fruit juices, whole milk, fruit juice bars and fruit drinks.
Health Secretary Nicola Roxons announcement to make healthier foods available to school staff: https://t.co/YZW6w5XyW5 pic.twitter.com/VQp5g0k7wX — ABC News (@ABC) March 27, 2019 Health experts said the move would be good news for school students, with the government hoping they would be able to access more nutritious food in the coming months.
“It’s a big step forward, it’s a good sign, it’ll give more kids access to healthy snacks,” nutritionist Dr Chris Wark told BBC Breakfast.
He said schoolchildren often get too many snacks at lunchtime.
“They tend to be eating lots of the same things, they tend to eat the same thing over and over again,” Dr Wark said.
“We need to get them to think about different snacks at different times.”