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NEFood Super Heroes ImageWS

‘Don’t play with your food’

We’ve all heard it and most of us have said it, but could playing with food actually benefit our children?

Many schools incorporate play into their self-directed learning during Key Stage 1 and research has suggested that this method of learning can be applied to dinner times to teach children how to eat healthier foods. De Montfort University, Leicester, published a study that indicated children who were allowed to feel and play with their foods tried more fruit and vegetables at dinner times.

It is a big task to keep children entertained over the long summer break, no matter their age. Introducing food as an activity, whether it is by cooking, through arts and crafts or even making a mess could be an essential tool into making the summer holidays both happy and healthy.



What is the deadline for ordering meals and why is it so long?

The deadline for ordering meals is midnight on Sunday, one full week (7 days) prior to the complete week before the meal is served.  This deadline is dictated to Chartwells by both their suppliers and by the necessary chain of supply that is needed to ensure delivery to all West Sussex Primary Schools.

How do I order my choice of meals?

The choice of meal is made at point of service. Your child can choose either a Standard Meal, Vegetarian Meal or Alternative Choice on the day.

My child is sick - how do I cancel the meal?

In the event of sickness absence from school, meals may be cancelled provided Chartwells receive notification by 10.30am on each day of sickness - please phone or e-mail - please do not text.

Please note that cash refunds will not be made. All refunds are subject to a £1 admin fee.

Do Chartwells supply a packed lunch when my child is on a school trip?

Packed lunches are not supplied for school trips.  If a meal has been ordered for that day, it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to cancel the meal.

My child is on a school trip/event and will be absent from school - how do I cancel the meal?

Parents wishing to change their meal schedule after placing their order (e.g in the event of term time holiday, school trip dates, etc) must make on-line alterations prior to the cut-off point for the week in question, alternatively you can contact the Chartwells office via telephone or email, a credit will only be issued if we receive 5 full working days notice.

Do Chartwells cater for children with special dietary requirements?

Special diets will be catered for, provided requests for these are supported by a medical report such as a letter from your GP or hospital dietician. Requests for special diets should be made direct to Chartwells (see Contact Us Page) with a supporting letter. A special menu will then be agreed upon between the parent and the Area Manager for the child's school. Religious diets will be catered for by the vegetarian meal.


Will Chartwells cater for allergen ladders and re-introduction?

Children requiring the re-introduction of milk or egg into their diets following a ladder are catered for, subject to the receipt of medical evidence.

Chartwells will offer 3 options for such scenarios, detailed below.

Parents will be advised to consent to one of the following options most suitable for their child:

Egg re-introduction

  1. Entirely egg free (recommended).
  2. Whole egg free (removal of ‘uncooked/ loose’ egg). Fully cooked egg will be present on menu in main meals and desserts.
  3. All egg present (standard menu).

Milk re-introduction

  1. Entirely milk free (recommended).
  2. Restricted milk (removal of drinking milk, yoghurt, custard and cheese on jacket potatoes only). Milk present on menu in main meals and desserts.
  3. All milk present (standard menu).


Chartwells cannot offer the provision of allergens in moderation outside of the detailed options above. This is for the safeguarding of children and catering staff.

No diet changes will commence without a parentally signed consent form.

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