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Food and School

Discussion in 'Primary' started by amy092, Apr 11, 2018.


Do you think schools (partly) contribute to bad eating habits and associations in this context?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
  1. amy092

    amy092 New commenter

    I'm just thinking aloud and would be open to having the friendly discussion with others. I find it interesting that we use school meals to teach children about good food choices and to restrict the types of foods they are eating. My issue however is that most, if not all schools, serve a 'pudding' with their hot school lunches. Fruit and yoghurts I completely understand, but a hot pudding is inappropriate, and this is why-we are teaching children that it is the norm and most certainly routine to have your lunch and to have a hot pudding. This isn't necessary. We are creating a culture of children who expect a second course to their lunches, whether consciously or not that is what they will have been routinely taught. We then reinforce this as a society by providing a chocolate option to all meal deals. I am of course guilty of doing all of these things as I'm sure most of us are, but how much of our decisions are made consciously by our own minds as opposed to routine that we have had instilled from a young age? I think as a society we spend a lot of time and effort on teaching young children to be active and to made healthy life and food choices, and yet we still encourage such damaging food routines and associations with food.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why is a hot pudding inappropriate? Why is it a damaging food routine to have a pudding?
    Surely making a healthy choice is to choose to do enough exercise to burn off the pudding choice?
    Some choose fruit, some choice a small yogurt/jelly and some choose the hot pudding option.
    Can't see it makes any difference as to who is healthy and who not.
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I hated the healthy schools nonsense at my old school. The lunch situation was exactly as described above (and those having packed lunch were largely unmonitored), but children were only allowed healthy snacks at break. The definition of healthy was getting looser and looser so eventually became fruit, crackers or nothing. I had a parent in to meet with me as she felt a cereal bar was appropriate - her child struggled to each much at breakfast, and was an active child, so she felt some carbs and sugar at break was ok. I was directed to tell her no as cereal bars are sugary.

    The whole thing was ridiculous. I’m no dietician, and neither were any of the other staff at the school, yet we were making decisions on what kids can and can’t eay at break (whilst letting them eat rubbish at lunch!) meanwhile the staffroom was always full of biscuits and the like!!

    I think as long as we educate children on healthy eating, and offer healthy choices, that’s enough.
  4. amy092

    amy092 New commenter

    I think the points you make are very fair and I agree with everything you're saying. My thoughts are more linked to the routine we begin to provide children with for the future, there is the high potential for these children to feel it is the norm to have a pudding with a lunch, so for every lunchtime there is the potential for the 'first course' to not be enough and to need something afterwards and for that choice to not be healthy simply due to the options we are given in a modern society. I completely understand that healthy options are great and some children choose them instinctively, I simply think that we are spending a lot of time and money focusing on reducing sugars in foods and packaging when we are still providing children with a 'two course' lunch routine and I think that goes hand in hand with educating them about their choices.
  5. amy092

    amy092 New commenter

    Your staffroom point is very true! It's also very hard I think to monitor the choices all children make when realistically they all eat very differently. There is no sense in a child going without breakfast because the school doesn't allow the cereal bar when they will eat nothing else.

    I agree with the education comment but surely this should go hand in hand with us not providing such a routine 'two course' lunch. My issue isn't children having a pudding, I think we have come very far in teaching children about making good choices, I feel it is the routine that we need to potentially reconsider. Even if we only provided them with a fruit/yoghurt option for pudding, we are still teaching them that having a 'pudding' with lunch is the norm. How many people eat something else with their lunch even when they are already full because it is partly routine to do so? I'm certainly guilty, and meal deals in supermarkets contribute to it.

    In another view I think that arguably in some instances we need to be very careful in how much we focus on food and healthy choices. Some children can quite easily at such an impressionable age have a complex about food choices and what they are eating. For most, this is the point and will benefit them, and for others it can be quite damaging that we put so much emphasis on food.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But having a two course lunch IS the norm.
    It isn't about eating more food, but about finishing with something sweet. It signals to the stomach/brain that the meal is over.

    I honestly cannot see your problem at all.
    NotAPowerRanger and Lalad like this.
  7. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Nothing wrong with a nice warm chocolate pud, preceded/followed by 30mins of screaming and charging around like a lunatic on the playgrounds...

    Apparently, the kids enjoy this too...
  8. amy092

    amy092 New commenter

    This is by far my favourite response!!
  9. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    A two course lunch provides a balanced meal.It is better to eat this at lunch time and work it off, than eat it in the evening and then fester infront of the TV.
  10. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    It annoys me that my daughter's school tell her she is only allowed to bring in a 'healthy' snack for break time. She gets penalised because other children are unfit and overweight. I don't think a KitKat is going to make her all of a sudden become obese. The bigger children are mostly that size because they get given massive meals at home. The size that would make me balk.
  11. amy092

    amy092 New commenter

    I definitely agree that some if not most children are in no need of extra school constraints due to a healthy relationship with food being promoted in the home. We are however living in a time where a lot of children have no education at home and are susceptible to the need for food routines and feeling as though they must have more because they are following routines rather than listening to their brains. I do agree with what you're saying also, I think many schools are enforcing stricter rules regarding lunches and snacks more so for a healthy school status and how the school appears to others as opposed to the children's needs.
  12. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    Not being funny but that's bull. I grew up at school having pudding after lunch, sometimes I ate it, sometimes I didn't. Now as a 30 year old, I certainly don't expect two course lunches. My children have pudding after lunch at nursery, sometimes this is a hot pudding. They don't expect two courses at home. In fact, we rarely have puddings full stop, even yoghurts etc.

    As someone else said, having that as an option isn't unhealthy, nor is the chocolate in meal deals. Healthy is keeping that balance between what we eat and what we put out, knowing I'm active enough to enjoy that chocolate. Those kids are sure as hell active enough the other 45 minutes or so of their lunch time.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I recommend a daily dose of one of these badboys...


    (@caterpillartobutterfly will kindly note that the cream is an essential component...)
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ahhh now, a real Swiss roll has no fat in the sponge and no cream in the roll, therefore is a health food.
    If you add cocoa to the cake part, it adds antioxidant thingies and so is even healthier. (But then you do have to have a choc ganache or choc cream filling, because jam with choc is disgusting.) With a choc Swiss roll you can also use unrefined molasses sugar, so basically we should have some everyday. :)

    This one looked so sad, I felt we should eat it and put it out of it's misery... o_O
    Billie73 and amy092 like this.
  15. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    • Getting KS2 boys to actually sit down and eat any lunch is more of a problem in our school- all they want to do is go out and play football!
    • Most 2 course lunches are all doled out on one tray (in different little slots) so in all honesty it doesn't really look like a 2 course meal anyway.
    • Some of our children need every calorie they can get- you can tell the ones that don't get much at home- they are the skinny ones that ask for everything and wolf it down
    • I have seen home packed lunches that consist of (only) a packet of crisps.
    • Most desserts are quite light in school- jellies, yoghurt, fruit etc .
    • I asked my then KS2 child what healthy eating was and he seemed to think that "eat fruit" was the answer. Children need to know about all the food groups (including essential fatty acids - fats- because, despite what the media suggests, they are, well, essential..)
    The main thing I remember about food and being little was that I was always hungry. I think that getting them fed is the main thing.
    Activity is the main thing that our children lack, not dietary advice.
  16. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Many children need the calories.
    Pomza likes this.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Got rid of the prison trays. Who ever decided children deserve that...?
  18. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I'll pick a couple up next time I'm in Holland and Barrett...
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Those who have to wash them up I expect.

    We have proper two course lunch though.
    Children have their main course and when all have been served, they can start to collect puddings when the teacher on duty gives them permission.
    There is no compulsion to have pudding, but most do.
    (This sounds very civilised, but it is actually to save on staff serving and is a cost cutting exercise really.)
    amy092 likes this.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I'd have thought your gaff would have had a butler to deliver all the SpottedDicks?

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