CHILDREN in schools across Burton and South Derbyshire will be given at least one portion of vegetables a day following new regulations due to be put in place by government ministers.
The proposals, which will come into place from January 2015, also state that children will be restricted to no more than two portions of fried food per week. Fruit juice servings will also be limited to 150 millilitres.
Education secretary Michael Gove says that the new food standards will ensure all children are able to eat healthy, nutritious meals at school. He says that the clear and concise set of food standards are easier to follow and less expensive to enforce without compromising on the quality or nutrition of meals.
He said: “There has been a great deal of progress in providing healthy school meals in recent years and these new standards will help deliver further improvements.”
However Andrew Ridout, head teacher of Tower View Primary School in Winshill, says that although the ethos of Mr Gove’s comments is right, it will be harder to put into practice. He said that at present the school does encourage children to make healthy choices, but does not dictate what they can and cannot eat.
He told the Mail: “We provide a range of meals to the children and make sure that they get the right balance. However we don’t say you can only have one portion of this, or you’re not allowed to eat that.”
The changes could also see an end to traditional school tuck shops, with foods such as crisps and chocolate no longer available to pupils. However Mr Ridout said that Tower View will continue to run its tuck shop, which only sells healthier snacks such as fruit and yoghurts, with no chocolate or crisps available.
He added: “We try to make sure they get a good variety and we do promote healthy eating. Every now and then we will talk to the children about what they are eating. We stress the importance of eating well and exercising regularly.”