School meals can provide a healthy and nutritionally balanced meal for your child every day.

Do you qualify for free school meals?

All children in Reception, Years 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal. If you receive some benefits your child may be entitled to free school meals in all years. Find out more on our free school meals page.


Our NYES Catering service provides school meals to over half of the schools in North Yorkshire, with the aim is to bring enjoyment to school lunchtimes with local, fresh, great quality food being at the heart of what we do. 

We follow a healthy eating policy, with 75% of our food produced daily in a school kitchen. We provide:

  • fresh meat and poultry sourced from the region and Red Tractor approved
  • free-range eggs and sustainably caught fish
  • a menu that is fully compliant to the School Food Standards
  • fruit and vegetables sourced regionally where possible using local suppliers to promote local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint
  • products free from additives associated with health problems in young children
  • a menu that is nutritionally analysed, as well as being checked by a Registered Nutritionist
  • information and menu guidance on any specific dietary requirements any of your staff or pupils may have
  • fats free from hydrogenated oils
  • menus that are nutritionally balanced

You can view our school meals food policy here. If your child's school uses another catering service you can find out more about the food they offer by contacting the school.

Primary schools

In our primary schools our meals:

  • have a three-menu cycle, allowing children to become familiar with the food served
  • are changed every term to reflect the seasons
  • are written using feedback from pupils, parents, carers, cooks and school staff

View and download our primary school menu and our primary school choice menu.

Plus, we also host fun promotional days with special menus to add an extra ’buzz’ to school lunches throughout the term. These exciting one-off menus are shared with your schools ahead of the day, along with a themed activity sheet to download; so please ask your school for more information on these.

All Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils are entitled to free school meals and you can find out how to get them on our free school meals page.

Unless you are entitled to claim free meals, there is a charge for pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. The average charge for a meal is £2.58 but schools set their own meal prices so you please check with your child's school for price and payment arrangements. If you receive certain benefits you may entitled to free school meals.

Secondary schools

Secondary schools operate a cafeteria system with a wide choice of lunches that are varied, and tasty. Our selection includes grab and go options for those not able to sit and eat with us, as well as having the option of a more traditional meal.

View and download our secondary school sample menu.

Most secondary schools operate a cashless system and pupils are issued with smart cards or use their finger or thumb print to identify themselves. Your secondary school will be able to tell you if it offers this system and how you can pay for meals in advance. If you receive certain benefits you may entitled to free school meals.

Schools are required to provide free drinking water at all times on their premises.

Frequently asked questions

The government’s school food standards require lower fat milk or lactose reduced milk to be available for drinking at least once a day during school hours. Milk must be provided free-of-charge to key stage one and benefits-based free school meals pupils when it is offered as part of their school meal and free to benefits-based free school meals pupils at all other times. Charges are usually made for all other pupils. To assist with the cost of providing milk schools can take part in the National School Milk Subsidy Scheme.

There is also the Nursery Milk Scheme, operated by the Department of Health, which provides free milk to children under the age of 5 at participating schools and childcare settings.

Four to six-year-old school children are eligible to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable every school day, outside of their school lunch, through the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS), which is optional for schools to participate in.

Please contact the head teacher of your child's school stating the required diet. You will be provided with a Special Diet 1 (SD1) form to complete and return to the school office to start the special diet registration process. Medical diets will require a letter from a doctor or dietician.

Manufacturers are required by law to highlight if any of the food products they supply to us contain any of the 14 main allergens as an ingredient:

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
  • crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  • mustard
  • tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • soybeans
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

If your child has an allergy to one of the 14 allergens, intolerance, or allergy to any food not included in the 14 allergens, or any other special dietary requirement, please talk to us and we will try to accommodate their requirements.

We can discuss catering for special diets including diabetic, vegetarian and vegan, religious and cultural diets.

Our cooks and catering managers are fully trained and updated in a range of special dietary management. They are supported with expert advice from our Technical Team, Nutritionist and wider network of accredited professionals. We are proactive members of LACA, which aims to set high standards of professionalism in Education catering; they are the lead consultative body to the Government in delivering healthy eating policies and provide knowledge and support to meet the changing demands of the industry sector.

We are unable to guarantee a completely food allergen free environment as foods containing allergens are used in our kitchens.

Catering staff in schools have all received the relevant hygiene training.

Throughout their employment they receive additional training including:

  • NVQs in catering skills and professional cookery
  • nutrition and healthy eating
  • health and safety
  • customer care

All our catering is monitored to ensure meals are safe, of high quality and value for money. Monitoring officers visit each school unannounced at least twice a year to carry out a kitchen audit. In addition, district council environmental health officers regularly inspect our school kitchens.

Please contact the Headteacher of your child's school stating the required diet. You will be provided with a Special Diet 1 (SD1) form to complete and return to the school office to start the special diet registration process. Medical diets will require a letter from a doctor or dietician.

Manufacturers are required by law to highlight if any of the food products they supply to us contain any of the 14 main allergens as an ingredient.

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
  • crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  • mustard
  • tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • soybeans
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

This means if your child has an allergy to one of the 14 allergens we can provide a meal for your child. Please contact your school and we will discuss and arrange this.

If your child has an allergy or intolerance to any food not included in the 14 allergens, or any other special dietary requirement, please talk to us and we will do our best to accommodate them.

We can discuss catering for special diets including diabetic, vegetarian and vegan, religious and cultural diets.

Our cooks and catering managers receive training and advice on a wide range of dietary needs.

We are unable to guarantee a completely food allergen free environment as foods containing allergens are used in our kitchens.