When your child first heads off to school, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. You do not know what they will be getting up to for a large chunk of the day, so you must place a huge amount of trust in the teachers and other members of staff. Hopefully they will provide what is best for your son or daughter.
What your child eats at school, however, is something parents are able to control. You can decide whether your child ends up with school dinners or a packed lunch, or you can leave them to sort themselves out. However, this latter option can end up being a very bad choice for your child’s oral health.
Young people have never been the most responsible, as they have not matured to the extent that they prioritise their health over their enjoyment. As such, a meal bought by a child will likely be high in sugar rather than something healthy and nutritious.
According to a survey conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), one-in-ten UK parents does not know what their child eats for lunch at school. This is often because the children are given a bit of money to buy food and left to do so themselves. However, this can easily lead to a higher chance of developing obesity and tooth decay.
Furthermore, around five per cent of parents are fully aware of their child’s diet at school – the only problem is, it consists of fast food. The BDHF is not happy with parents’ choices when it comes to this area, as even packed lunches are often bad for a child’s health. Instead, it is recommending more parents trust school meals.
Nigel Carter, the BDHF’s chief executive, said: “There are now minimum standards for all school meals. Schools’ foods are now quite enticing and are healthy for children. What’s more, school meals are better for teeth than packed lunches, and are infinitely better than takeaways.”