School dinners – did you love them or loathe them?

Coconut Sponge Pudding

National School Meals Week

This week has been National School Meals week; an occasion that celebrates the quality of today’s school meals (my children love them and insist that most of my meals are inferior; roll of eyes) and also gives us the opportunity to reminisce.

I remember not being permitted to choose a salad as they were ‘saved for the teachers’ and forced to eat chips instead – unthinkable now.

I have very fond memories of the puddings, however, and this recipe is a homage to my favourite.

Recipe of the Week: Coconut Sponge Pudding



This and many more delicious recipes can be found in the 2020 Dairy Diary, available now.


I would love to hear your memories of school meals.

Did you love them or loathe them? Please leave your comments below.









    • annwen hope
    • 24/11/2019

    I loved school dinners especially, and can never find the name or who to cook it, pastry on the bottom, then a layer of jam, bananas and thick set custard sooooo yummy!

    • Barbara Rees
    • 19/11/2019

    I was fortunate to enjoy my school dinners from age 7 – 10, I do remember the lovely chocolate pudding and chocolate custard that was a firm favorate, but still cannot face tapioca pudding even now it makes me gag. Food at home was very different as parents were Polish, so English food was what ultimately made me take up Catering as a career. Jamie Oliver’s school food totally different league and comfort food not seen. The food I received kept me warm and healthy.

    • Heather Wilson
    • 17/11/2019

    Loved school puddings like the iced sponge with lemon sauce ,chocolate crunch and peppermint sauce and chocolate sponge with strawberry sauce,hated lamb cobbler and boiled potatoes.

  1. I loved the school dinners that I had in a little village school in Stithians in Cornwall, it was all hearty meat and vegetables and potatoes with lots of lovely gravy and all the puddings were great except chocolate sponge with chocolate custard, and ‘frogspawn’ tapioca. In the summer we’d have jelly and custard or tinned fruit and custard and sometimes ice cream wafers with neopolitan ice cream in the middle. Happy days.

    • CmC
    • 16/11/2019

    I loved the school dinners when i was a kid- real food,meat,or fish,&2 veg.creamy mash,yummy puds,and choc pudding & pink custard was one of my faves,along with the rice pudding with the coconutty huge biscuit! We must have had a great cook- Jamie Oliver came along to ‘fix’ the dinners& now its all panninis& burgers or all covered in sauces! Hes ruined them,its not real food anymore !

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