With grinning faces, the kids love it if there’s pizza, or burgers and chips on the school menu. Granted, the days of lumpy custard have hopefully spent their last ever days gracing the plates of our growing future generation, but for my kids, stodge is what they want from a school dinner in Aberdeen City.
Making faces that would sour milk, they turn their noses up at school dinner fish, as I’m told it tends to be grey with “bits” on it. Similarly the soft veg and tasteless fruit seem to be pretty low on the agenda of my hungry horaces at feeding time.
Portion sizes are teensy, and on the one day I was able to join the lunch time rabble, I was shocked how little kids were eating of their meals once they tasted them, and made faces at each other.
I really don’t see the point of meeting Governmental Nutritional Guidelines, or claiming to serve a balanced meal if the food looks and tastes like shoe leather. And what about the 11 year olds getting the same portion sizes as the 4 year olds? How is that going to keep them alert during afternoon classes, bellies not full enough from their £2 meal?
So, given the “reasonably low” standard of food on offer in many lunch canteens, why oh why do the schools insist on telling kids they shouldn’t be taking cans of fizzy pop, or sweeties in their lunch boxes?
I’m told by the kids that the staff take cans of pop away from children who have taken them to school. If it happens, it’s thieving of the lowest proportions from kids, and seems to set double standards that rankle. All it creates is the sweetie mob and the non sweetie mob hierarchy as lots of parents put sweets in lunch boxes, even when they’re asked not to.
The short story is, that as a health promoting school, we’re not supposed to give them any sweeties to school, but the tables are turned when they sanction teachers using sweets to bribe the kids into better behaviour.
Little children’s brains try to absorb the contents of the healthy living world and come home full of facts and figures on how bad some foods are, yet when the same kids go to secondary schools, (or academy, or whatever else schools at 12 + are) they are suddenly faced with canteen style food of epic fast food proportions, and expecting around £5 a day to gorge themselves on whichever food tasty of the day catches their eye.
I’ve been “reliably” informed by an excitedly animated face, that the food in secondary is as good as Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“That’s good for me mum,” came the high pitched happy chappie who starts there next Tuesday. ”I need to put on a few pounds,” says the skinny football mad lad.
A response of “Ye’ll get a packed and like it, with a school lunch on special occasions,” leads to folded arms and a pout worthy of One Direction.
So, after all of this, I have yet to see what the point was of making such a fuss of “healthy” versus “unhealthy” food at primary, if at secondary, they can choose to just get stuffed full of junk and want £5 a day for lunch. Ok, so senior school moves to a cafeteria style service with healthy choices, but with many kids, the only choice they will make is the junk, as they often have to eat the healthy stuff at home.
Aside from the fact I am not spending £15 a DAY on kids lunches when they reach secondary, am I the only one who thinks it’s a ridiculous double standard?