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15 October 2014

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Margaret's just returned from a meeting about school dinners...

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By Margaret Light
Margaret is a school cook. She has just returned from a meeting about school dinners and is furious. She can't believe that school dinners could soon be disappearing and points out that for a lot of children the school dinner is the only proper meal they have each day.


     BBCi Health gives advice about school dinners.
Learn about the history of school dinners.

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Your thoughts about this video


Peggy Porter
At 69 I remember well the dinners at school, It was during War years, and how we tucked in, Many hands raised for secounds, especially for the favourite chocolate "concrete pudding", With rationing we ate a balanced diet, with extra Veg to fill up. There were no Fast food outlets, only the Chippy and that opened at week-ends and was considered a treat, not every day fare. We were grateful for our food and the kind ladies who prepared, cooked and served us. And it worked, for we are told by the media we wrinklies are healthy and living longer. It was a big contibution to our growing up and good health our School Dinners, as our Dad's were away fighting Wars, and Mom's working in munition factories etc, The Food rationing never ended until the 50's and had become a way of living for us, What so many take for granted, and demand as necessary are still luxury's in my book, and I truly believe we are all the better for it.

Steven A. Spencer
The past Conservative governments destroyed the school dinner ethic because they didn't believe in subsidising them. People like Margaret, and also Jamie Oliver, are bravely standing up and critising the way things have deteriorated. I come from Bradford in West Yorkshire. A city at the forefront of British social changes in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was in Bradford in 1906 that School Dinners began and the cook house at Green Lane School provided children in the city with much needed and well balanced diets. We should get back to schools having their own cooking facilities with trained staff and do away with the pedlars of processed rubbish they have contracts with at present.

I as an adult whos eaten school meals thinks they are absolutely awful everything seems fatty and oily, since the meals went to private catering they have gone rapidly downhill compared to a few yrs ago when it was healthy balanced food.

School dinners are a good but they need to be more healthy! In my school every meal, "healthy" or not, they seem to cram in a load of oil which makes the food taste awful and have high levels of fat in them. This means that all the people who eat at the school are not eating what they think they are eating. I don't think it's the students who need to be taught how to cook and eat healthy foods, it's the cooking staff in every school across the country.

I agree with you, but in my school (secondary) only about 20% of people have school dinners, I am one of them and half of the time I don't eat the food because the people really can't cook. Another thing is that it is so expensive and a bottle of water is £1.20. But I agree obesity in children is, in my opinion, purely down to the food they can get their hands on and if the parents are not bothered about what their children eat then it will simply lead to obsesity. I also believe that with media and image becoming a bigger part of our lives (especially with girls) people will find themselves getting bigger which will altimately lead to eating disorders in some people

I agree wholeheartedly with Margaret, it is a disgrace that this is proposed, and if it goes ahead it would be an evil deed.

Martine Hutchinson
Margaret is absolutely right about school dinners. I know parents who send their child to school with no breakfast and only give them a sandwich if they're lucky for they're tea, without that school dinner the child wouldn't have had a hot meal all day. Instead of taking away school dinners, the government need to be putting more money into educating children about food, where it comes from, why we need it, fun ways to cook it and giving them more P.E facilities in schools. You only have to look at USA to see where the obesity problem is coming from. Fast food and lazy lifestyles. Taking away good wholesome food at lunchtimes is really not the answer because all that will happen is the children will just find their nearest take-away/fast food outlet to get their lunch from.

Margaret Light
2.58 mins
05 Jan 2004
Video Nation Cumbria
England - North

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