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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Lesson in where chips come from
Pupils planting seed potatoes
Pupils learn how potatoes are grown - and how they become chips
A frozen food firm has set up an interactive lesson to teach children that chips come from potatoes.

McCain Foods created The Potato Story to help children learn where food comes from and how it is prepared.

It follows recommendations by the School Meals Review Panel that children should learn about the provenance of food - as well as eat healthier food.

British Heart Foundation research suggested one in three children did not know that chips were made from potato.

As part of the lesson, pupils will plant seed potatoes and learn about seasons - and how potatoes become chips.

'Important lesson'

Daubeney Primary School in Hackney, east London, is one of the first schools to receive a visit from a McCain expert.

Head teacher Wanda Noakes said: "We are always looking for innovative ways to engage with and entertain the children and learning about where their food comes from is also a very important lesson for them."

McCain communications director Simon Eyles said: "We recognise that McCain's has an obligation to educate children who are perhaps confused about where their food comes from and teach them the basic principles of enjoying a healthy and balanced diet."

As part of new rules for school meals in England, dinners high in salt and fat are banned.

Balanced diet

Pupils will get "a minimum" of two portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal, while deep-fried food will be restricted to two portions per week.

Experts say the guidelines must be seen in the context of a balanced diet.

Carol Weir, a dietician who represented the British Dietetic Association on the School Meal Review Panel, said the guidance was not about giving pupils unpopular choices.

"We're not denying them their favourite foods - we want them to enjoy lots of different foods," said Ms Weir.

"Chips are still there twice a week and there will still be desserts and good old school puddings.

"But rather than having chips five times a week, it's about controlling that."

Could school dinners be healthier?
04 Sep 06 |  Have Your Say

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