When a primary school headteacher banned packed lunches for 4-7-year-olds after discovering pupils had been given cold fast food and packets of biscuits for their midday meal in June, it was a headline story.
However, crisps, sugary drinks and biscuits are regular features of a child’s lunchbox. A fairly standard lunch of ham sandwich, crisps, fruit yoghurt, apple and squash could deliver more than two and a half times the amount of free sugars a 7-year-old needs at lunchtime.
Parents are faced with the challenges of ensuring that their children will eat something during the day, the relative cheapness of less healthy options and pester power.
The Children’s Food Trust believes schools can lead the way by adopting a packed lunch policy, and sees the Government’s childhood obesity strategy as an opportunity to combat negative aspects of our children’s diet.
The Trust offers a guide to good lunch boxes, take a look at this for some tips.