Education authorities in the Midlands have defended their school dinners as the Government puts pressure on them to ensure pupils eat more healthily.
Ministers promised to invest tens of millions of pounds re-equipping school kitchens and retraining dinner ladies to create more nutritious food.
The move comes in the wake of the TV show School Dinners, in which celebrity chef Jamie Oliver struggled to produce healthy meals on a budget of just 37p per pupil.
The Government said it would provide extra cash to raise the quality of school dinners and set up a School Meals Trust to raise standards.
But it urged individual schools and local education authorities to do their bit by diverting a greater proportion of funding into healthy eating.
Birmingham City Council - which spends 39p a meal per primary pupil and 58p per secondary - said it had a "long history" of promoting good diet.
"We have been working with organic suppliers and with dietitians to deliver healthy but also economically viable meals, " said an LEA spokeswoman.
The authority provides fruit at break time for primary pupils, vegetarian options, and encourages schools to develop their own vegetable gardens as a learning tool.
Sandwell employs Scolarest, the same catering firm as Greenwich Council who featured in School Dinners, as its caterer. It is currently reviewing the contract.
Coun Ian Jones (Lab Tipton Green) said he hoped to visit the authority to see how it has transformed meals and had invited Jamie Oliver to a conference during the summer.
He said: "We have raised the nutritional value for this current contract. We will also be looking at the overall budget to see if we can intervene regarding funding for school meals."
Solihull spends between 46p and 52p per meal on primary pupils and 55p and 60p per secondary pupil. Coun Ken Meeson, cabinet member for education, said: "We use a minimal amount of processed foods and our menus include pure whole fish, salmon steaks and breast of chicken. Fresh fruit and salads are available every day."
Walsall Council, which provides meals to the majority of its schools, said it launched a new healthier menu in January while Warwickshire said it was reviewing the amount spent per pupil.
Other measures introduced in Warwickshire include using organic burgers and a ban on products containing enumbers that can result in hyperactivity among children.
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly yesterday admitted it was difficult to produce high quality food for 37p.
She said: "Labour is committed to raising the nutritional standard of school meals. From this September we are introducing minimum standards on fat, sugar and salt content.
"We intend to introduce tougher nutritional standards from September 2006." The measures, however, were dismissed as " preelection gimmicks" and "stunts" by opposition leaders.
Parents, armed with greater awareness over diet, have become increasingly concerned over the quality of school food.
Father-of-three David Daniel, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, said: "If more schools came on board with healthy eating it would be a step in the right direction for children."