Free School Meals for Primary School Children From September PLUS 2 Recipes!

Just to let you know, this post was written before I went fully paleo to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

Do you have a Primary School-age child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 in September? Then you may know that the Department of Education has now made a daily free school meal available for kids in the UK aged 4-7 years old. 

It's thought that this may save the average parent around £400 a year (per child), as well as providing important nutrition for them during their busy day at school.

And before you start thinking of stodgy custard puds, pies and gluey mash, school dinners aren't like they used to be, either. My six-year old loves lasagne days - and fish fingers, veggies and chips on a Friday, too. I've noticed that there are roast dinner and curry options, too, on certain days - much more choice than we ever had. And dinner ladies are serving up foods like enchiladas, moussaka and fruit cobblers. Kind of makes you wish you were back at school, right? 

They've asked me to share a couple of the recipes that will be on offer to the children starting from this term, in case you want to recreate them yourself at home. There's a recipe for Mexican Chicken Enchiladas and for pudding, an Autumn Fruit Cobbler. Lovely.

Mexican Chicken Enchiladas


• 1.6kg canned chopped tomatoes
• 60g tomato purée 
• 12g garlic, peeled and crushed (3 cloves)
• 9g chilli powder (3tsp) 
• 20ml vegetable oil (1tbsp)
• 300g onion, peeled and chopped
• 1.2kg chicken breast, diced
• 80g red pepper, deseeded and diced
• 80g green pepper, deseeded and diced
• 400g courgette, diced
• 6g coriander, ground (2tsp) 
• 6g cumin, ground (2tsp)
• 400ml water
• 700g tortilla (12 x 50g tortillas or 16g x 45g)
• 75g reduced-fat cheese, grated
• 50g mozzarella cheese, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Combine the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic and chilli powder in a mixing bowl.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions for 10 minutes until soft. Add the chicken and cook for a further 5 minutes until browned.
4. Add the peppers and courgette and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground coriander and cumin, then fry for 1 minute.
5. Add half of the tomato mixture to the chicken and vegetables and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add some of the water if required.
6. To assemble the enchiladas, lay the tortillas onto a board and divide the chicken and vegetable mixture between them, folding over the ends and rolling up to seal.
7. Lay in an ovenproof dish with the seal side down. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
18. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a side salad.

Autumn fruit cobbler


• 500g plums, stoned
• 500g apples, peeled and cored
• 500g pears, peeled and cored
• 100g dried apricots, chopped
• 10g cinnamon (3tsp)
• 650g self-raising white flour
• 100g wholemeal flour
• 150g caster sugar
• 150g soft margarine
• 470ml semi-skimmed Milk


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Slice the plums, apples and pears and arrange in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the dried apricots and cinnamon over the fruit.
3. Mix the flours, sugar and margarine spread until they resemble breadcrumbs, then gently add 450ml of semi-skimmed milk until it forms dough.
4. Gently work the dough into a ball but try not to overwork the mixture.
5. Roll out until it is 2cm thick and cut out scones using a 6cm diameter cutter.
6. Arrange the scones on top of the fruit, leaving a little space for them to expand in all directions.
7. Place a thumbprint on each scone forming a slight dip.
8. Use the remaining 20ml milk to glaze the scones.
9. Bake for 30 minutes until the fruit bubbles and scones are brown.

The recipes are provided by the Children’s Food Trust to celebrate the launch of free school meals in primary schools, for four to seven year olds, this September. The change will ensure that kids in reception, year one and year two have a healthy and nutritionally balanced lunch every day, and will help parents save an average of £400 per year, per child. Find out more at  

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