Parents and Carers





Edsential are a Community Interest Company. This enables us to reinvest back into services for children and young people. We provide quality food with quality ingredients and all our food is prepared fresh on the day. We are proud to be the company that serves the most ethical and highest quality meals in the UK.

We also like the children to be involved in the process and choosing what they are eating so we offer the opportunity for them to have their say, whilst also meeting the food standards requirements.

Edsential is also the first catering company in the world to use only sustainable palm oil in all our menus. We work closely with a wide network of environmental and conservation leaders as part of our journey in empowering young people to lead environmental change.

We know that the provision of good food improves behaviour, growth and the ability to concentrate – leading to happier, healthier children. Learn more about what we do below and how we can provide for your child through our school meals:

Our Food

Edsential serves the most ethical and highest quality school meals in the UK, find out more details about our super tasty food

Palm Oil Journey

Learn more about our Palm Oil journey and how we became the first catering company to use only sustainable Palm Oil in our food.

Our staff

We handpick talented staff who are motivated, dedicated and want to produce memorable, super tasty food

Why Children Love
Edsential Lunches

Eating together helps develop social skills

Discovering new dishes and tastes

Helps children cope better with the physical and mental demands of the school day

Bespoke school menus based on their favourite meals

Children can make their own meal choices

Fun theme days throughout the year

Why Parents and Carers Love Edsential Lunches

Well balanced meals meet the School Food Standards

No packed lunch to buy and prepare

Meals are freshly prepared using quality ingredients

Menus cater for most allergens, special, cultural, ethical and religious diets

Excellent value for money

It is good for children's development trying new things

Unsure if your child is eligible for free school meals?

Did you know that on average, parents spend up to £500 per year, per child on school meals? There are so many children that are eligible but do not benefit from this crucial funding.

Our aim is to make as many families as possible aware of their child’s entitlement to hot, tasty nutritious meals in school through term time, as well as the great activity opportunities available to them in the holidays.

Check with your local authority if your child is eligible here:

Steph Heald, Parent from Kingsley St Johns C of E Primary School

It is great for children to have a hot meal in the middle of the day, especially if they have got after school activities. I know they have had something decent and hearty to eat before they go and burn all their energy off again. I think its really important that sustainable palm oil is used in schools our meals because that’s something that we try to do at home because the environment is really important to us.



Edsential’s Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) provides enriching activities, delicious nutritious meals, and a chance for young people to meet new friends in a safe & fun environment during the school holidays.
Edsential are delighted to be coordinating the holiday activity fund on behalf of Wirral Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council – Funded by Department for Education. If your child is eligible for free school meals then your child is able to take part in HAF so more reason to sign up for free school meals,

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What are the benefits of my child having a free school lunch?

All our meals are freshly prepared using quality ingredients and meet the school food standards.

What does it mean that all meals use sustainable palm oil?

Palm oil products are a major contributor in cutting down rainforests, threatening wildlife like the Orangutan Pygmy Elephant and Sumatran Rhino and increasing greenhouse gases which contributes to climate change. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that all the products that contain it are sustainable sourced.

My child has allergies do you cater to this?

We are able to cater for most food allergies and intolerances. The first point of contact will be your school and you will be required to provide medical confirmation of your child’s diet from your doctor or dietitian

We follow cultural, ethical or religious diets, do you cater for this

Our menus embrace these diets by offering vegetarian and vegan options as well as meat free days.

Are there hot and cold options available?

Please view your school’s menu to see the options available. We encourage children to have a hot meal as this offers the most nutritional value for your children, but all our meals meet school food standards.

What are the school food standards?

The school food standards are intended to help children develop healthy eating habits and ensure that they get the energy and nutrition they need across the whole school day. Please read more on the school foods standards website

How much is a school meal?

This varies from depending on which school your child goes to, for more information please contact your school directly to find this out.

My question isn’t listed here?

Please get in touch with our catering team on 0151 5412170 or your school will be able to provide the answers to your question.

What if my child is a fussy eater

Many of our staff are parents too! We all have concerns regarding food choices for our children. All our staff are trained in dealing with all different children’s needs and will go above and beyond to ensure no one goes home with a hungry tummy.

My child does lunch time clubs will there be food left

Many of our schools offer parent pay where you pre order the meals so they will know what has been ordered therefore meaning that there will always be the food that you require or request available. This also reduces waste in our schools because we are aware of what each child is having in advance. This process does differ depending on the school so please get in touch with your child’s school to find out the full details.

How do I apply for free school meals?

Contact your school to find out more or find out if you are eligible on the government website.

Do I have to setup an account if I want my child to have free school meals?

No you not need an Edsential account to apply for free school meals this can be done through the government website or directly with your child’s school, the process is extremely simple and should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Do I have to sign up for the full year?

This is something that is managed by the school directly as this can be different for each school please contact your child’s school directly to find out the details about sign up.

Can I try before I buy?

Our catering management team are often invited to parents evenings to provide this service, we also provide theme days throughout the year so why not try it on these days.