Improve children's diet by keeping them in school

27 September 2012 by
Improve children's diet by keeping them in school

School meals have hit the headlines once again. This time it's because they were the subject of an episode of the Channel 4 documentary series Dispatches, which aimed to unveil the "school food scandal". But somehow, and frustratingly, it missed the point.

While it revealed evidence to support the case for making nutritional standards mandatory in all schools - currently, academies do not need to comply - it failed to recognise that there are plenty of examples of excellent work being done in school canteens around the country.

Instead it focused on fast food and politics. Fast-food operators were heavily criticised for opting to open outlets in the vicinity of secondary schools.

Domino's Pizza was singled out as the main offender, despite the delivery service chain's insistence that in some areas it is impossible not to open within 400m of a school.

Local authorities that pick this particular battle are spending huge sums of money to keep fighting the good fight, according to Dispatches, but the benefits of schools instead implementing a stay-on-site policy wasn't broached.

According to Leon co-founder and recently appointed reviewer of school food Henry Dimbleby, it had to be scientifically proven for people to see that if you don't sell chocolate bars in school and you don't allow students to go off site, they will not eat junk food. This is what most people would see as plain old common sense.

Rather than the constant bashing of areas still in need of improvement, isn't it about time that school caterers were applauded for their achievements to date and supported as they try to develop further?

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

Blogs on ]( Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters]([ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking