Schools were placed on the spot today (July 12th) as a new government report warned teachers to ban home packed lunches for their pupils.
The move aims to help slash health risks for children such as diabetes, obesity and dental hygiene problems which have risen in recent years.
Lead by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, co-founders of the Leon restaurant chain, the study will approach education officials and propose measures to make school lunches more attractive to pupils.
Further drastic measures include refusing children to leave school premises during break times so that they do not stock up on unhealthy items bought off site.
Sugary drinks, crisps and sweets brought from home have been linked to poor school performance. Statistics show that almost a fifth of all children are obese by the time they leave education, coinciding with the epidemic seen in Britain today.
However, this may not be possible for students in poorer areas who may not be able to afford school food. In order to make sure the proposals benefits as many children as possible, cashless payments hope to de-stigmatise those who receive free school meals.
Chief executive of food at the Children’s Food Trust, Linda Cregan, said: “It’s about great, healthy food but also about an environment that children enjoy, where they don’t have to spend a chunk of their lunchtime queuing to be served or waiting for a seat, having to shout to hold a conversation or rushing their food because they don’t have enough time.”
By creating an all-round positive dining experience for children, pupils are more likely to be more considerate about their food choices and eating habits.
The Department of Education will pay a massive £11.8 million to fund the scheme, with a further £3.15 million going to provide healthy breakfasts for more children.
However other measures can be taken outside of school. Dental professionals can distribute helpful information through dental posters, including ways to cut down on sugary foods which cause cavities and plaque build up.
Posted by Yvonne Wallace