SCHOOLS should ban packed lunches and give pupils two free vegetarian meals every week, says Bake Off judge Prue Leith.
Government research has found that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that apply to school food, but lots of kids still take packed lunches because they don’t like school dinners. However, Leith blames parents.
“The problem with fussy eaters is parents who do not encourage them to try new things,” Leith told the Sunday Times.
Leith is patron of a charity called Chefs in Schools, which aims to improve school menus and food education. The head of the charity says that they prefer to encourage more pupils to have hot school meals because this allows schools to invest more money in better ingredients and training for kitchen staff.
“Rather than an outright ban, we want to phase out packed lunches in schools we work with, over time, once parents have confidence in the chef,” Naomi Duncan told us. “The most effective way to crack fussy eating is to give children space and time to try new things, and educate them as to why and how what they eat is important.”