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In January new guidelines were introduced in schools to make meals healthier. For more information read my earlier blog healthy school meals
The new guidelines included advice about puddings. One Nottinghamshire School – Ernehale Infant School, in Arnold has brought out a new menu, and has decided to include cheese and biscuits as a pudding alternative. This has created a bit of a stir, so the Nottingham Post sent the Food Sleuth to test out the changes to the menu Nottinghamshire schools healthy menu
And I was interview by Andy Whittaker of BBC radio Nottingham on Wednesday morning for my views on puddings in general and cheese and biscuits in particular
I believe a school has a duty to offer healthy and balanced food to its pupils and a pudding can be a part of a healthy balanced meal. With the caveat that portion control has to be observed. 1,800 calories is the daily maximum for children aged five to 10. A portion of cheese and biscuits could only have 112 calories.
For some children a school dinner could be the most substantial meal they eat, and when they get home they may only be offered a snack
At lunchtime if a child has mushroom risotto with peas followed by cheese and biscuits they will feel satisfied and nourished. Not only can that help them to concentrate in the afternoon but it could mean they are less likely to buy a snack at break time
Cheese is not only full of calcium; needed for healthy bones but research has shown that eating cheese at the end of a meal can neutralise the pH in the mouth and therefore possibly reduce tooth decay. This is especially important to young teeth with delicate enamel
So my advice to parents is encourage your children to be adventurous and try new things. Appreciate a school that offers as wide a variety of foods as possible, so your child can be inspired to make healthy food choices
If you are a parent, would you be worried about your child having cheese and biscuits as a pudding, do you think school puddings can lead a child into bad habits. Or do you, like me think its about balance, variety and overall portion control?
I’d love to hear your views