Healthy Eating in Schools guidance 2020: supplementary information and advice on energy and key nutrients

This is supplementary guidance to the guidance book on Healthy Eating in Schools focusing upon providing information about the energy and key nutrients which form the basis for provision of school food and drink.


Why do we need it?

Protein is a nutrient that is found in almost every part of our body such as hair, skin, muscle and blood.

Infants, children and teenagers need protein to help them grow and repair body tissues.

Almost all reactions that are necessary for the normal functioning of our body are dependent on protein.

It can also be used as a source of energy.

The amount of protein we need depends on our age, size and growth stage.


Protein is found in both animal and plant sources:

  • animal sources include meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk and cheese.
  • plant sources include nuts and seeds; pulses such as peas, beans and lentils; soya products and cereal products such as bread and rice.

Additional information

Our bodies tend to be able to use protein from animal sources more efficiently than protein found in plant sources.

Eating a well-balanced diet based on grains, pulses, seeds and nuts will ensure that a mixture of protein is consumed in vegan or vegetarian diets.



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