Most schools still sell junk food. Why one mum thinks it’s great, and another wants it banned.
NO – Kids need to learn to make good choices.
By Shauna Anderson
The thought of banning junk food in schools makes me fear for the generation of adults these children will become. A walking talking cast of zombies, unable to think for themselves or make judgments about their boundaries. A generation of adults so used to restrictions that the tiniest chance of rebelling makes them cast aside all their inhibitions. A generation unable to educate their own children about nutrition because they never learned to make their own choices.
Of course there is a problem with obesity in Australian children, but a myriad of problems are contributing to that – junk food advertising, inactivity, too much screen time, badly manufactured food…
It is a whole society problem – not one that should just be tackled in schools. Junk food shouldn’t be banned from schools. What’s next? A ban on computers because we blame them for obesity?
Throughout Australia there are different approaches to what foods are allowed at schools in lunch boxes and to be served at canteens. In NSW, VIC and QLD a “traffic light” system applies with foods categorized according to their nutritional benefits.
This system works. Kids can occasionally indulge in the ‘red light’ foods. They learn about food choices.
Children need to learn to think for themselves. They need to be educated to make healthy choices, they need to understand the consequences of what they are eating, to just blanket ban junk foods is such a lazy approach.
Kids should be involved in packing their lunch boxes, in sampling different foods, and in choosing to occasionally bring in a bag of Cheezels on a special occasion.
So just because some parents are simply too lazy to be bothered to make their children a healthy lunch, the rest of the children – those who do know moderation, who do practice responsible nutrition, who are in control of what they eat have to suffer. Why is that right?
Parents need to take control of what they feed their kids, not the schools.
The fun police strike again:
There has to be some fun left. Already we’ve seen bans on cartwheels and soccer games, on playing brandings and swapping animal cards.
An occasional packet of chips, a juice once a week at lunchtime, an ice block on a hot day.
There would not be a seven year old in Australia who doesn’t find that a delight.
A chocolate heart slipped into your lunch box by Mum on Valentines Day? A cupcake on the teacher’s birthday? A bacon and egg roll at the Father’s Day breakfast? Why should we restrict these choices because of fear mongering? Why can’t children have the ability to choose these treats at the appropriate time and place and learn to appreciate these foods as a treat?