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South East: Politics on the menu

Here are some of your comments on the programme for Sunday 18 May 2008

Your texts and emails

On school dinners...

Simple - Don't permit the children out at lunchtime!
Bridget, Tunbridge Wells

I would like to say the dinners are not cold - they are trying to justify eating junk food and we do more than just tuna sandwiches.
Tracey, Dinner Lady at Eastbourne Tech School

I have a KFC and Asda café. I'm 15 and I eat it 4 times a day.
Sam Gooding, Broadstairs

Why are kids allowed out of school unsupervised anyway? Aren't parents worried what they are doing? Once they are 16, it's fine as they are then responsible for their own health as well as many other things. Don't blame and restrict businesses.
Kam, Margate

It is not children eating fast food that bothers me that is the choice they make but can they put the rubbish in the bins before they go back to school
John Maidstone

Do let the children out at lunchtime - they should be allowed to eat what they want

Why are students given the chance to buy fatty food during school times, I'd want my child kept under the school's care at all times.
Chris, Eastbourne

It's unhealthy - the school should ban fatty food

You're wasting your time. Kids will eat what they want whether you try and stop them or not
Jenny, Folkstone

To support outside business why can they not deliver to the school from pre orders? Or set up a stand in school grounds?
C Purvey

What about freedom of choice? If we want so-called junk food why cant we. We would go after school if not allowed out at lunch time.
Ray, Ashford

Also food education starts at home! My children get a balanced cooked meal in the evenings.

Fish and chips are not bad in moderation - what is all the fuss about?

Re school lunches Eastbourne. Suggest the school introduces a menu committee of pupils for the forthcoming week on a rotational basis.

The only reason children want junk food more is the obsession we have now with healthy eating. We have gone too far, we had chocolate and biscuits and crisps when I grew up and I am a size 8! It is up to the parents what to give them not to be dictated to by schools and the government!

Why not get the local sandwich bar to set up a stall in school rather than the children going outside?

Children need to know what the affects of fast food is AND when it will hit them.
Martin, Ramsgate

I am a mum of four and do a healthy meal every day and when I say no to them I say they will thank me when they are 40. They love school dinners.
Alison, Gillingham

It's simple. Stop children leaving School at lunchtime or mind your own business. Parents are responsible for their children and their nurturing.
Frank Folkestone

Make school meals free.
Peter Eastbourne

I am very much in favour of teaching children healthy eating and cooking skills, so that they are not dependent on fast food and ready-meals for the rest of their lives. But what is 'healthy' eating, exactly?
A shocking number of people speaking on the issue care only about children's weight and not about their nutrition. How many people give any thought to which foods contain which vitamins and minerals? A diet of nothing but lettuce and low-fat yoghurt is not good for a growing child.
It does no good whatsoever to ban takeaway food from schools and serve the children only food that they find disgusting and tell them that it's healthy - you're setting them up to believe that "healthy" is automatically a negative word, and to reject anything "healthy" in the future! It is absolutely essential, if you are revising school menus, to find foods that are both healthy AND tasty, and to make sure you have qualified cooks available to prepare it.
If the school food does, in fact, taste terrible, you can hardly blame the pupils for rebelling.

I feel that the main reason that children do not understand the value of nutritional food is that their parents cannot teach them as they do not cook healthy food for the family. The blame lays squarely on the educational system and whoever decided to cancel domestic science lessons in secondary schools.
I am in my mid 50's and remember well the compulsory half day lessons (for girls) where we taught the basics of healthy cooking. The aprons and caps we wore were made in sewing lessons - another skill now lacking in children's education.
Elaine Everest

New Labour's obsession with academic targets is the main cause of child obesity. Obesity was less prevalent when physical activity was high on the agenda in schools. Exercise is more critical than diet.
Stephen Springthorpe, St Leonards on Sea

Children should not be allowed out of school during the day for any reason except medical, not even sixth formers. School stands in loco parentis and must remain responsible for children's safety and health for the full period.
This may mean making unpopular rules and decisions.
Too much choice is bad for children as they are not sufficiently knowledgeable of the future implications of their decisions.
The only choice I had about school dinners was eat it or go hungry. Yes we moaned sometimes, but we learned to appreciate different food from what we got at home. And we were well fed every day without getting fat.
Exercise was compulsory three times a week and most of us walked to a school set at the top of a long steep hill.
JC, Margate

I teach in a primary school and we have started to run a weekly cookery club for children and their parents.
One mum said to me that her son is beginning to try all kinds of new foods as he is helping to prepare it himself and so has more interest... this seems to me to be a good way of helping children to try healthier options and has the bonus of parents and children spending quality time together.
Janet Hares

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