Tony Blair is backing celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's campaign to persuade schools to ditch junk food and serve up healthier meals to pupils.
The Government is drawing up plans to spend tens of millions of pounds rebuilding and re-equipping school kitchens so that meals can be cooked on site, while dinner ladies will be given additional training to help them create appetising menus.
Writing in The Observer, Mr Blair acknowledged the strength of parental anger over the diets currently on offer at many schools.
He promised to set up an independent School Food Trust to build on the work done by Mr Oliver in his Channel 4 series, Jamie's School Dinners.
The moves will form part of a mini "children's manifesto" to be published today outlining Labour's pitch to parents on issues from diet to paedophiles.
It will argue that, far from fearing a ' nanny state', families want the Government to intervene to protect children.
In his article, Mr Blair wrote that the new Trust will "draw on the remarkable work of Jamie Oliver in schools, of the Soil Association in encouraging the use of organic and local produce in school meals, and on the best advice on nutrition."
He added: "It may take a little time to change children's tastes, but it will be worth the effort if we can get them enjoying healthy and good quality food."
Mr Oliver said: " If changes are made it will only be a matter of months before British health, education and farming could be affected for the better."