Postaday2011 – Should schools control what children eat?

This a tricky topic, if you say yes then you’re a control freak but no indicates a
laissez-faire attitude towards child nutrition.

It would appear from the news programmes that children in our schools are not eating properly, there is a tendency to eat so called “fast food’ burgers and chips or pizza. All things in moderation is fine but a diet of this kind of lunch is not ideal. I can understand why our little darlings decline the offer of cabbage or other green boiled to death vegetables served up with other unappetising delights.

When I was at school the majority of us had school dinners, they weren’t great but… Friday was the only day that chips were on the menu and I don’t recall burgers ever being there. So how have these quick foods crept in? I have no doubt cost enters into the equation, low budget per day per child equals crap food. You can’t produce a gourmet meal on 75p a day or whatever it is they have to play with.

In one of the Jamie’s Italian programmes (Jamie Oliver) he visited a junior school where 8 year old children were enthusiastically tucking in to vegetables that most kids in our country wouldn’t recognise let alone eat. That they not only knew what they were but appeared to be enjoying them is testament to the possibility of getting vegetables on to the menu. To his credit he has tried to improve school dinners with some success but the backlash from mums who were filmed delivering burgers and fish & chips to their teenagers at lunchtime was a depressing sight.

So in answer to the question yes I think schools should take a greater responsibility for what children are offered for lunch. I also think burgers & fries should be available just once a week. It is not beyond the wit of the education system to encourage children to get involved in producing food for the kitchen – salad ingredients, vegetables. There will always be kids who are interested in gardening so it should be possible unless of course health & safety get involved and say that dirt is dangerous.

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