‘You’ll put children off healthy food’ says headteacher

Lynn Knapp, headteacher of Windmill Primary School, Headington

Lynn Knapp, headteacher of Windmill Primary School, Headington

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

A HEADTEACHER is concerned new rules about standards of school meals is turning the country into a “nanny state”.

Under the rules announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday it would see milk having to be made available to pupils, both primary and secondary, during the school day.

The guidelines have been put together with advice from the University of Oxford.

It would also see limits of 10g a day on condiments such as salt, at least one portion of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day, limiting fruit juice portions to 150ml, and only two portions of deep-fried, battered and breadcrumb-coated foods to be served each week.

And pupils should be offered three different fruit and vegetables a week.

But Lynn Knapp, headteacher at Headington’s Windmill Primary School, said she worries the changes may put children off healthy food if they are forced to eat it.

Mrs Knapp said: “Children choose what fruit they like to eat but I think making them eat three different fruits a week might be difficult as they may not enjoy it so much if they are forced to eat things.

“I think the whole thing is quite prescriptive and you can’t run life like that. It becomes a bit like a nanny state.

“I think it may have the reverse effect on the children.”

Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford and lead nutritionist on the new measures, said: “We know that children are continuing to eat too much saturated fat, sugar and salt.

“It is vital that the food children are offered in schools is nutritious and helps them to learn about the basics of a healthy diet. The new standards and supporting guidance include clear information on appropriate portion sizes to help achieve similar results and promote good practice across all schools.”

Oxford Mail:

Drinking milk at Wood Farm School in 1983 are Lisa Carter, Emma Rice, Zoe Dracket, Monique Hilaine and Jennifer Sneddon

Mr Gove said it would cut costs, adding: “These new food standards will ensure all children are able to eat healthy, nutritious meals at school.”

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was nicknamed “milk snatcher” when free school milk was scrapped in 1971 for over-sevens.

The changes are due to come into effect from January.

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Comments (1)

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7:53pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"A HEADTEACHER is concerned new rules about standards of school meals is turning the country into a “nanny state”. "..........
........about 20 years too late with that opinion, we've been a nanny state for years.....
"A HEADTEACHER is concerned new rules about standards of school meals is turning the country into a “nanny state”. ".......... ........about 20 years too late with that opinion, we've been a nanny state for years..... Dilligaf2010
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