Friday, 12 July 2013

"Ban school dinners so children eat healthy packed lunches, headteachers urged"

From The Daily Mail:

School dinners are helping to fuel a rise in childhood obesity, Government advisers will warn today as they set out plans to revive packed lunches.

The chief executives of Kingsmill owner Allied Bakeries and Hovis owner Premier Foods, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, insist sandwiches are healthier and can provide more variety than the typical school dinner prepared by corporate outsourcing giants, usually including chips, doughy pizza or plain rice.

Their packed lunch plan, to be launched with education secretary Michael Gove, will say it is up to parents to improve quality and take-up of packed lunches.

Sandwich-making lessons at school are also to become compulsory for children ages seven to 14 from September as the Government aims to improve their understanding of spreads and fillings. Pupils will be expected to be able to make up to 20 different types of sandwich before taking their GCSE exams and encouraged to take the new NVQ in reparing toasters and sandwich makers.

The bakery chiefs have spent a year visiting more than 60 schools in the UK gathering evidence, and say packed lunches have improved greatly since celebrity sandwich maker Jamie Oliver began his crusade against Turkey Twizzlers in 2005.


The Stigler said...

For me, there's a lot of skills that don't need teaching to kids in schools, because parents are perfectly capable of teaching them to their kids.

And cooking is one of those. I've already taught my kids far more than a cookery class at school will. They can cook eggs, bake a cake, make a crumble. The other day, I got my eldest to make a casserole with me, and she did it all, except the flambeeing of Calvados.

See also: religious education (if you care), sex education and PE.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, well yes, but going by personal experience...

1. The Lad likes cooking and baking, so he did the after-school cooking club and really enjoyed it (and got a good mark in his Home Economics unit, or whatever it's called nowadays). The Lass struggles to open a bottle and is not interested in cooking.

2. RE lessons are very, very important, especially if they have to wade through all the different religions - it makes them realise how fantastical, boring and contradictory it all is.

3. The knowledge that your kids are going to have their "Sex education" talk at school very soon forces the sensible, caring parent to finally summon the courage to explain to them how babies are made, it's better for them to be embarrassed at home than in front of their peers.

4. PE is of course a complete and utter waste of time for most kids.

Sarton Bander said...

Reposting in comments.

Governments healthy is probably not healthy.

Morgan Charles said...

I can remember having free school meals in primary school. They were vile.

Are kids at state schools taught about nutrition these days, or are they just bombarded with the health fascist propaganda de jour?

Mark Wadsworth said...

SB, of course it isn't.

MC, maybe they were vile, but socially useful. And yes, my Lass seems to be bombarded with propaganda.

The Lad either isn't so bombarded, or else he just ignores it, as he is capable of distinguishing between "the real world" and "what they tell you at school".