Parents should be involved in school dinners

Kid school dinners

Greater parental input could help tackle obesity  

14th February 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Parents should be more involved in preparing school meals in a bid to tackle obesity and improve health.

Children in Scotland said that while obesity remained a complex issue, more action was needed to fight what has become an epidemic.

The charity’s chief executive Jackie Brock said the call is based on evidence and what the charity has learnt from communities it works in.

Brock said: “We’re aware from the results of recent research in England that anti-obesity strategies which don’t have a strong participative element, and focus exclusively on schools rather than interactions with the community, are likely to fail.

“A participative approach isn’t about surveying pupils about basic food choices but thinking radically about their input and involvement in the food experience overall.”

The charity made the call as part of its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation A Healthier Future: Actions and Ambitions on Diet. 

Among the measures the charity want introduced is ensuring nutritional guidelines are shaped by children and families and that councils work with school leaders to prioritise fresh local produce, and build this into local authority contracts with food suppliers.

Brock added: “We need to be asking: what do children’s bodies and minds need over the school day and how does that cross over with the needs of their community? What food experiences will help support their health as a whole, not just at school in isolation?”

The charity also identified food waste in schools as a major issue in the debate. 

“We would like to see practical research into whether the type of participatory approach we’re advocating in schools has an impact on waste,” Brock said.