top of page

Early Learning and Childcare Meals


Health and Wellbeing is a large part of the ELC experience, and includes access to milk, a healthy snack and meal time provision.  We are committed to providing healthy, nutritious, good value meal options to children in our Early Learning and Childcare Settings.  If your child is in ELC for more than four hours and over a lunch period they are entitled to a funded nursery lunch.


Our ELC lunch offer is a two course menu with a main meal, and will be either a starter and a main course, or a main course and a dessert.  The menu runs on a four week cycle so that there is plenty of choice for children.


Our ELC menus comply with the Scottish Government's guidance, Setting the Table.  In this document there is guidance on healthy snack options, meal planners and foods that are not acceptable for inclusion in provision, as well as other helpful guidance.  The link to this document is:



Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (SMHSS)


The SMHSS funds a daily portion of plain fresh cow’s milk (or specified alternative) and a healthy snack (fruit or vegetables) for all pre-school children spending two hours or more in the care of a regulated day care provider and/or childminders that have registered for the SMHSS.  SMHSS will replace the current UK Nursery Milk Scheme from 1 August 2021.


The link to this guidance is:


Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2021: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment - (

School Meals (Menu)


Argyll and Bute Council is committed to providing healthy, nutritious, good value meal options to pupils in our primary and secondary schools and a school meal is available in almost all of our schools, with the exception of Iona and Ulva primaries. We encourage healthy eating and school lunches are planned so that children can choose a well-balanced meal and a good selection of bread, vegetables, fresh fruit, fruit juice and milk are available daily. All of our menus comply with the Scottish Government's Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 and with Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

As part of Scottish Government legislation, from January 2022 all pupils in P1-P5 will be entitled to a free school meal.  Parents do not have to register for this; all pupils will receive this meal automatically.  Please see the section on free school meals for information for pupils from P6 and beyond.

Allergy information for our school menus is available online and in each school kitchen. You can find out the allergens contained in every dish, and by clicking on the links for each meal you can also find out the recipe used, full ingredients and nutritional information. These are available via If your child has a food allergy, please contact the school office in the first instance so that any necessary arrangements can be put in place.

A vegetarian meal option is available every day, and many dishes can be altered to accommodate other special diets where this is required. Where possible, other non-medical special diets may be accommodated; please contact the Food and Nutrition Officer for more information.

Primary Schools:
Our primary school lunch offer is a two course menu with a choice of main meal, and will be either a starter and a main course, or a main course and a dessert. The menu runs on a four week cycle so that there is plenty of choice for pupils.  The cost for a primary school meal is £2.30.  Water or milk, and a selection of bread and salad, are provided every day and fruit and yoghurt will be available daily as a dessert option.  Some larger schools may also have baked potatoes available every day. 

The primary school menu is revised twice per year, typically in October and in March. You can view our current primary school lunch menu here.

Packed Lunches

Some pupils prefer a packed lunch and it is the Authority’s policy to provide facilities for the consumption of packed lunches in all schools where these are required.


The school aims to encourage children to enjoy food which is both attractive to them and nutritionally sound, whether this is a school meal, a packed lunch or a snack.  We would appreciate your support in achieving this aim.

Free School Meals

From January 2022, all pupils in P1-P5 became entitled to a free school meal, which they receive automatically.  Whilst P1-P5 parents do not need to register because of the universal entitlement, it can be beneficial to register if you meet the eligibility criteria as you could be entitled to additional benefits.


For information about Free School Meals, including the eligibility criteria, and to complete an online application form please visit Alternatively, please contact Customer Services: Education on 01369 708548 or your local benefit enquiry office.

Special Dietary Requirements

Argyll and Bute Council Catering Service provides meals across all schools, including Primary, Secondary and Early Years Units.  Part of this includes the provision of special dietary requirements for food allergies and intolerances, medically prescribed diets and diets for religious or cultural reasons.


If required, please contact the school to obtain a Special Diet Request form.  Once this has been completed and passed to the Catering Manager, the Catering Service will, where necessary and as required, work with the pupil, Parent/Carer, Education and the NHS to provide a nutritionally balanced meal that meets the dietary requirements for the pupil. Requests for non-medically prescribed diets also require a completed Special Diet Request form. 

Updated: 10/2023

bottom of page