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School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme: Pre-School Education

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will extend the National School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme to children in (a) pre-school and nursery environments and (b) formal education beyond the age of six years. (144164)

The school fruit and vegetable scheme (SFVS) is a school-based scheme, which provides a free piece of fruit or vegetable every day to children aged four to six years (and any other children in the same class) attending a participating local education authority maintained infant, primary or special school.

In setting the eligibility criteria, we sought to draw the lines in a way which are fair and practical focusing on the first years of education in school The decision to base eligibility by class or school grouping and not strictly by age has the key benefit that all children in a class participate.

The SFVS is part of a wider strategy to improve children’s diets, supporting the improvements we are making to school food and the healthy eating theme of the healthy schools programme . We have no plans to extend the SFVS at present.