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Should schools be able to control what snacks pupils eat?

PUBLISHED: 09:51 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 January 2019

Evening News feature pic, biscuits, snacks, tea break.
Photo: Simon Finlay
Copy: Rowen Mantell
For:  EEN Features
EDP pics © 2006
(01603) 772434

Evening News feature pic, biscuits, snacks, tea break. Photo: Simon Finlay Copy: Rowen Mantell For: EEN Features EDP pics © 2006 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2006

It’s a controversial issue which could get chewier this year – should schools have a say over what type of snacks their pupils eat?

This educational intervention into children’s diets could be the latest development in the battle to improve children’s eating habits and reduce levels of childhood obesity.

And we’d like to know whether you think schools should have a (proverbial) hand in what goes into children’s packed lunches.

Let us know by taking part in our poll and leaving your comments below.

The push for healthier children’s snacks, which began in the early 2000s, has led many parents to swap crisps and chocolate bars in their children’s lunch boxes for healthier alternatives, while a seismic change in school dinners spearheaded by Jamie Oliver has brought more fresh produce and homemade meals into school kitchens.

A healthy school lunch. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/MilkosA healthy school lunch. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Milkos

In April 2018 the government’s controversial “sugar tax” came into effect, which saw an extra tax levied on sugary soft drinks.

Many manufacturers combatted the levy by reducing the amount of sugar in their products – a move which will benefit consumers as well as the companies themselves – but some, including Coca-Cola, chose to swallow the tax rather than change their recipes.

Now Suffolk County Council has stepped up to the plate with a recent decision to plough £20,000 into projects to help reduce children’s sugar intake.

One school in Ipswich, Morland Church of England Primary, has taken matters into its own hands with a controversial ban, stopping children from bringing in any snacks except fruit or vegetables.

School dinners have already been through changes to bring in healthier, fresher produce. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoSchool dinners have already been through changes to bring in healthier, fresher produce. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The school said it felt change was needed in pupils’ snacking habits after noticing “that children have not been having healthy snacks at playtimes”.

The move was agreed by the school council, comprising pupils from different year groups who discuss school issues with staff – but it is likely to divide the crowd.

Is your child’s school doing something fresh to encourage healthy eating? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk.

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