PARENTS could be shortening kids lives with supersized packed lunches filled with sugar and saturated fats.
Experts insist the healthiest option for kids is school lunches and turkey dinosaurs and potato smileys are now a thing of the past.
Paul Evans of School Health UK and the Obesity Society is campaigning for parents to recognise the benefits of school dinners.
In 2018, School Health UK research shows it would cost £6,000 a year to recreate one pupil's school meals with supermarket ingredients.
Whereas school meals are free for kids up to age seven and then around £2.20 for two courses.
According to one study, a whopping 98 per cent of pupil's packed lunches contain too much sugar and are filled with saturated fat – as well as being way too big.
In a letter to parents, Mr Evans said: "Parents are shortening their children's lives and wasting hundreds of pounds a year by choosing packed lunches."
He added: "Gone are the days of turkey dinosaurs and potato smileys (covered in salt), a frosted cake with pink custard and half a pint of extra-sugar squash."
Mr Evans is urging the 50 per cent of parents who pack a lunch for their kids to switch to school meals to save money and their children's health in the long run.
He said: "If all a child is given to ear is cakes or crisps and Fruit Shoots to drink that is what their body will use to grow.
The call to swap sandwiches for hot meals has been backed by CEO of School Food Matters, Stephanie Wood.
She said: "Research from the University of Leeds confirms that packed lunches are no match for a school meals".
Ms Wood added shocking findings showed just 17 per cent of youngsters lunches contained veg and salad and just 1.6 per cent met the nutritional standards set for school meals.
She said: "We believe the very best lunch available at school is a hot, nutritionally balanced school meal.
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