A survey by the School Food Trust has shown that over 40 per cent of lunchboxes don't contain any fruit or vegetables compared to just ten per cent of meals prepared at school.

World Cancer Research Fund's head of education, Kate Mendoza, said: "There is no doubt Jamie Oliver helped achieve great things for the food served in school canteens.

"But as the nutritional content of school canteen meals has improved, the healthiness of the content of lunchboxes has been left behind."

The WCRF has set up a website giving parents advice on how to prepare healthier meals including ensuring that every lunchbox contrains at least two portions of fruit or veg.

School Food Trust examined 3,500 packed lunches for primary school children in England before coming back with the shocking findings.

Their research and nutrition manager, Patricia Mucavele said: "School lunches are now the most nutritious choice for children and young people.

"We have previously estimated that parents could spend almost eight days a year making packed lunches that meet the national standards for school food.

"When you look at how the prices compare, it gives parents wanting to give their children good food, and save time and money, something to think about."

Earlier this year, JFHC reported that, despite the investment in school meals, a third of children are overweight and at serious risk of health problems when they leave primary school.

By failing to provide fruit and vegetables as part of a packed lunch Miss Mendoza feels parents are passing up a chance to correct this problem.

She added: "It is disappointing that children are going to school with lunchboxes that are not playing their part in helping to encourage the kind of healthy diet that is so important for their future.

"It can sometimes be difficult for parents to control what their children eat, particularly if they are passing shops on the way home from school.

"But parents can influence what is in their packed lunches and the fact that not all of them are doing so is a missed opportunity."

unhealthy lunch 


 

Posted on October 3 2011 at 1330 by Richard. Comment by emailing: richard.hook@pavpub.com