“What’s in your lunchbox?” used to be a common phrase I used, or had said to me as a kid, or overheard as a teacher in more recent years. It now appears that while the usual answers might well have involved some attempt at bartering and finding out what the latest fads were, it wasn’t just the other kids who were listening; experts were too!
With a school in Colchester recently banning scotch eggs and Peperami for being too unhealthy, the real question is what would constitute a healthy packed lunch these days? Furthermore, should this knowledge be part of food education for kids (and parents) to help them make healthy choices?
Kids will of course gravitate to the options that taste best to them. I always made sure I ate my chocolate bars and crisps and often chucked my sarnies in the bin (oh the shame looking back on this!) and I have fond memories of finding new food through trades with other kids (this is how I stumbled across the wonders of Cheesestrings and Wagon Wheels).
In its own way, this was a strange start to food education, and perhaps if I had been nudged in the right direction at primary school by teachers, I’d have made better food choices from an earlier age.
I cannot knock the idea of stopping kids from eating hugely unhealthy options like scotch eggs but surely it’d be better to impart more formal education on healthy eating, perhaps by highlighting the levels of fat in crisps by leaving them on kitchen roll, or by placing healthy lifestyles at the centre of the curriculum in general.
Do let me know what you think below.