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Persuasive argument against school dinners

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Introduction

School Dinners-Should We Have a Choice? Which would you rather, your children staying in the safety of the school premises and not eating, or them travelling out of school to find the snack foods which they cannot get in school due to the new initiative set down by the government to rid schools of "snack" foods. I am here to argue whether school children should have a choice about the switch to healthy meals in school. This year, education Secretary Alan Johnson has published nutrition guidelines banning meals high in salt and fat. These guidelines have been set to improve the overall health, behaviour and concentration of pupils. The standards were based on recommendations made by the School Meal Review Panel, following the campaign by TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve the quality of school dinners. The recommendations were, that from September, caterers must ensure that high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish are served on a regular basis, replacing" turkey twizzlers and chicken nuggets". Pupils must also get a minimum of two portions of fruit and vegetable with every meal and fried products are to be served twice a week. ...read more.

Middle

Recently the government have made plans to make cooking lessons compulsory. This may cause a problem for many pupils as they are not able to spend as much time on more academic subjects such as English or Maths. This may also cause problems for parents who may struggle to find the extra cost of providing ingredients. Chef Anthony Worrall Thompson has stated he believes that if the government are going to tackle this, they can't just scratch the surface. He would like it to be one set meal on offer - no packed lunches - and maybe it would need to be free. More than half of secondary school pupils buy treats equivalent to twenty blocks of butter and eleven bags of sugar during the course of a year. A recent survey has shown that schoolchildren use the journey to and from school to fill up on junk food as the meal they are getting in school simply is not filling them up. Irene Carroll, national chairman of the local Authority Caterers Association, said a key problem was that children were not being given healthy food by their parents. ...read more.

Conclusion

sixteen year old boys are making profits whilst the school meals service has moved into a loss making organisation, surely something needs to be done. In conclusion I believe to solve the problems that I have covered, many actions need to be taken. Firstly, children should be given a choice of which meal they have but schools should encourage the healthier option by subsidising and making it cheaper. The benefits of this are that children no longer need to leave school premises putting themselves at risk as they are able to purchase everything whatever they choose at school. This would also help poorer families as their children would get a healthy balanced meal for a cheaper price. Secondly, a free daily option of healthy food should be offered to encourage all children to just have a try. In addition make the healthy option more attractive, such as fruit smoothies or vegetarian hotdogs etc. Also, I think breaks should be made longer so children have enough time to finish their meals. And lastly, I feel that if we give the children a choice and encourage them with a healthy option they will eventually decide for themselves over a period of time rather than forcing an immediate change. ...read more.

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