Tuesday, 3 May 2022

School lunches,

 particularly "healthy" and "politically correct" lunches, are not something I need to worry about.

I was in the library yesterday. There was a mother I know in there at the same time. It was her "day off" and she was searching the cook books. When she saw me she gave me one of those harassed looks and said, "I need ideas for school lunches. Apparently I am not providing the right sort any more."

"The decent wholegrain sandwich isn't good enough any more?" I asked. I know she somehow finds time to make their bread. Her children help. The family bought a bread machine about this time two years ago. Unlike some families it has had a lot of use.

"Apparently not," she said grimly, "And no, it isn't coming from J... or S... this is coming from the school. They sent home some "guidelines" as to what is acceptable. Lunch boxes will be checked."

What in the heck is going on? Yes, I am aware that there is genuine concern about what some children are eating but when a good whole grain sandwich is not acceptable then there is something very wrong. 

"I mean really Cat they get ham or cheese or egg or tuna or something like that in it. I give them things like carrot and celery sticks, a couple of biscuits and a piece of fruit. I shove in something for recess. J... eats three rounds of bread - double decker sandwiches. He's shooting up and he is very active."

J.... is as thin as a whip and S... (a girl) is not much better.  I would have thought their lunches were both healthy and sensible but apparently they are no longer acceptable. 

Her children go to a state school in a fairly affluent area. The "lunch" policy has apparently come about as some sort of agreement between the teachers and the school's parent association. There are some quite radical parents on that who have been keen to impose a "correct" policy with respect to many things. To give you some idea Christmas was cancelled last year because it was deemed likely to offend but the children were taught about Ramadan this year. (My own view is that, if we are going to teach children about religious festivals, they need to know about both - and others as well.)

The mother I was talking to sighed and put a book about "Bento" lunch boxes back on the shelf. 

"I'll just have to take a stand. I don't suppose you happen to know any dieticians do you?"

Actually I do. The person in question is retired but I phoned her last night and put her in touch with the mother. It will be interesting to see what happens next but the dietician seemed to think that, for an active child, a wholegrain sandwich with a sensible filling was perfectly acceptable.

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