A CHARITY has called for a transformation in school meal menus from a “feeding” to an “eating” culture.

Obesity Action Scotland wants priority given to vegetables, soup and salads over puddings and desserts and a report by the charity suggests reducing sugar content and using unprocessed foods when possible.

Two-thirds of primary pupils eat school meals, which the charity says offers a chance to set a healthy eating example.

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The report found the intake of “free sugar” – ie, added sugar – is highest in children aged four to 18. This means school-age children are consuming sugar at three times the recommended level.

Cakes, cookies, sweetened yogurts and other desserts in school meals contributed to an excess in free sugars among children, the report found.

It said: “We are asking national and local governments to place greater value on school meals and create an eating culture by using unprocessed or minimally processed foods wherever possible.”