School meals

Catering Service logoEating a healthy meal is known to improve behaviour, concentration and the ability to achieve. That’s why it’s especially important for children to eat a delicious, healthy meal at school.

A lot is asked of pupils and students throughout the school day. We believe that a balanced, healthy school lunch is vital to help make sure they’re nutritionally re-charged to work through the afternoon and able to deliver their best.

Our award-winning team of menu development experts work with schools, pupils and parents to create appetising, healthy dishes that appeal to young tastes. Often these dishes are based on home favourites.

Each is tested, refined and nutritionally-analysed to ensure it fully complies with all legal requirements and good food guidelines before being added to our school menu.

Free school meals

Find out if your child could qualify for free school meals.

Reasons for choosing a school meal Toggle accordion

Menus that pupils like

To make sure your child enjoys our meals, we develop our menus in consultation with pupils, schools and parents. Our school meals meet all nutritional standards and guidelines, including Food for Life and the School Food Plan.

Fresh, tasty and healthy

Dishes are expertly prepared each day on the premises, using fresh, local, organic ingredients:

  • we use only free range eggs
  • our meat is farm assured (meaning it is sourced from farms with high standards of animal welfare)
  • our fish responsibly caught from sustainable sources

Good food for all

We cater for all medically diagnosed special dietary conditions and aim to provide for a variety of cultural and religious requirements. In the first instance, speak to your school for assistance.

Outstanding value

  • £2.10 for primary pupils
  • £2.30 for secondary pupils

Meals for free

Many pupils are entitled to free school meals – including all infants (reception, year one and year two). This can save you hundreds of pounds and help boost funds for your school.

No more cash handling

Our school meal payment system is cashless, removing the need to carry cash around, improving personal security. Our cashless system also allows you to:

  • check your child’s account balance
  • top-up
  • see what your child has chosen to eat each day

Contact your child’s school for more information or assistance.

Confidentiality assured

With our cashless payment system no one can tell whether your child’s meal has been paid for by you or provided for free.

Dining room experience

Sitting down to a school meal with friends helps develop good table manners and social skills support – essential attributes for later life

Making life easier for you

Avoid the early morning starts and expense of preparing packed lunches. You know that your child will benefit from a school lunch is delicious, healthy and nutritionally balanced.

Our primary school menu Toggle accordion

Organic minced beef Hotpot  Jacket potato with beans  Chocolate sponge and custard

Primary menu (PDF, 2.63 MB)

Our Primary school menu offers a daily menu:

  • a choice from meat or vegetarian main course with trimmings
  • filled baked potatoes
  • hot or cold packed lunches
  • mouth-watering desserts

Primary school meals cost just £2.10 per day.

Product replacement

On 16 April 2018 in week 1 of the new primary school menu, the dessert served was raspberry ripple mousse. In consultation with one of our suppliers, it has been brought to our attention that this product contains pork gelatin. As we aim to ensure all desserts can be enjoyed by the majority of students, this product has been replaced with a new dessert with immediate effect. It has been replaced with a vegetarian strawberry & vanilla swirl mousse. This is also gluten free. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and have spoken to the supplier about this issue.

Food for life award

In 2017, our primary school menu was awarded Food for Life Gold accreditation, following on from Silver accreditation, which we have held for the last three years. Your independent guarantee that we use only high-quality, responsibly-sourced ingredients.

Our secondary school menu Toggle accordion

Chicken wrap  BBQ chicken drumstick  Sweet potato lentil Dahl

Example secondary school meal menu (PDF, 5.20 MB)

Our Secondary school menus aim to bring the high street restaurant experience into the school dining environment. The secondary school menu includes a greater range of satisfying grab and go choices including:

  • chicken
  • pasta
  • noodles
  • filled jacket potatoes
  • choice of hot and cold filled breads
  • desserts and drinks

The perfect hunger cure for busy students on the move.

Secondary meals cost just £2.30.

Nutrition information Toggle accordion

Good nutrition, regular exercise and sufficient sleep are essential to helping children achieve and benefit from a healthy, successful future.

Unfortunately, we have a significant child obesity problem in Barking and Dagenham. It’s a problem that our catering service is committed to helping to address.

We work closely with schools, parents, young people and expert organisations to help ensure that the dishes we serve are wholesome, tasty and healthy.

Food for Life

Food for Life is all about making healthy, tasty and nutritious meals ‘the norm’ for all to enjoy. Working with parents and schools to help connect children with:

  • where food comes from
  • how it’s grown and cooked
  • understanding the importance of well-sourced ingredients to tasty healthy foods

We are Silver-level accredited ambassadors for the Food for Life programme.

The School Food Plan

The School Food Plan is an agreed plan, supported by the Secretary of State for Education and a diverse set of organisations (including LBBD Catering Services) who are helping head teachers to improve food in their schools.

Like Food for Life, the School Food Plan is about the pleasures of growing, cooking and eating proper food. However, it is also about improving the academic performance of our children and the health of our nation.

Each of our meals has been rigorously analysed to ensure it is nutritionally balanced and fully complies with all current legislative standards and good practice guidelines.

LBBD Catering Services is able to meet any cultural, religious or medical dietary requirements to enable your child to enjoy the school dining experience.

Allergen information Toggle accordion

Under EU legislation, it’s a requirement for food businesses to provide information about 14 allergenic ingredients – identified by the Food Standards Agency – used in foods sold, or provided, by them.

The 14 allergenic ingredients are:

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten
  • crustaceans
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs
  • soya
  • mustard
  • nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame oil
  • sulphur dioxide

As a responsible school meal provider, our catering service ensures that it meets these legal requirements in a number of ways.

We secure data relating to the allergen content of ‘bought-in’ product, i.e. ingredients and pre-prepared foods, from our food suppliers. We also use a web-based nutritional analysis system which provides accurate data about the nutritional and allergen content of complete dishes.

These data sources mean that we have very accurate information about the allergen content of our dishes. Any special dietary requirement information supplied parents, is recorded onto our cashless system and displayed on our till screen whenever the child pay for their meal. This helps to ensure that the child is served only dishes they are allowed at all times.

The allergen content of our food is also incorporated into the recipe books used by our kitchen staff. Contact the school if you have any queries about the nutritional or allergen content of our dishes.

The 14 allergens (PDF, 130.42 KB)

Useful websites

Pupil Premium (Free school meals) Toggle accordion

Why you should apply for Pupil Premium (free school meals)

In these financially-challenging times, it makes real sense to apply for free school meals. We strongly encourage all parents to apply for this important benefit.

Parents benefit

The savings you make will mean more money for you and your family.

The school benefits

The school will receive essential support funding.

The child benefits

Your child will be served a delicious two-course lunch that’s guaranteed to be satisfying and healthy.

It’s confidential

Your child’s daily payment allowance is automatically credited to their account. Our cashless tills means that no one can tell how the meal has been paid for.

It’s convenient

No more early starts to prepare a packed lunch…or any of the associated expenses.

It’s available

It costs nothing to apply and only takes a few minutes. If your child is entitled to free school meals, it’s their right to receive it.

Pupil Premium registration

All children who are in Key Stage 1 (reception, year 1 and 2) at a state-funded school are offered a free healthy school lunch. 

Children in other school years will be offered a free school meal if their parent or guardian is receiving any welfare benefits or has a low household income.

Registering your child for Pupil Premium enables your child’s school to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after-school activities.

Register for Pupil Premium

The best way to contact us and apply for Pupil Premium is to use our Pupil Premium (free school meals) form.

To use the form, you do not need to be signed in to your Barking and Dagenham Council MyAccount. If you want an account, you can create a MyAccount.

The information you provide on the form below will be processed in line with our data protection policy.

Register for Pupil Premium (free school meals)

Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)

All Key Stage One (infant) pupils – covering reception, year one and year two – are automatically entitled to free school meals. This is known as Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) and it’s an automatic entitlement.

However, to ensure your child’s school receives the additional funding for the Pupil’s Premium, complete the new application form available at your child’s school reception. Then just ask your child to go to the food counter and choose any of the delicious, healthy meals on offer. 

UIFSM applies only to infant pupils. An application for free school meals is required for older children.


You could claim free school meals for your child if:

  • you are on a low income
  • receive Child Benefit
  • receive any of these benefits:
    • Child Tax credit
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit (guaranteed credit)

You may qualify for free school meals for your child, if:

  • you are an asylum seeker
  • your total household income is £16,190 or less per year (this includes any benefits you are receiving)
  • you live outside the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, but meet the previous criteria and your child is attending a school in the borough
  • your only, or main, income is one the above benefits

School meals news Toggle accordion

School meals news from the Catering Team

We value your views about our service

Emails to our office are checked at least once daily (Monday to Friday). We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours. We are open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

LBBD Catering Services

Pondfield House, 100 Wantz Road, Dagenham, RM10 8PP

020 8227 3141