Advanced search

jamie oliver/school dinners

(38 Posts)
oops Sun 20-Feb-05 14:22:12

Message withdrawn

paolosgirl Sun 20-Feb-05 14:28:01

Just putting on my Scotland hat for a bit....we had a review of school dinners recently up here, with nutritional standards set by the Exec, and they have improved since.

I heard the point being made on TV that it seems a bit unnecessary to repeat the process in England (reckoned to take 18 months, and cost goodness knows what), when fantastic work has already been done north of the border.

Catbert Sun 20-Feb-05 15:19:40

DH and I listened to this too, as we were (I feel proud to mention) sitting down to eat our Sunday Roast with DDs (2 1/2 and 11 m). Both girls ate same as us, although DD1 not a big potato fan, and turned her nose up at the sprouts, but ate the beef, red cabbage, broccoli and runner beans on the plate! She could name all the food on her plate.

I too was shocked at the mention of parents passing through fast food to their children.

I believe my love and DHs love of "real" food and lack of fast food in our diets (can't abide MacDs or anything like that - gives me indegestion something chronic) comes from always being given home cooked food growing up, and having parents who have always loved and prepared food. My father has always spent his weekends cooking all the food, and is a fantastic cook. My mother is a great cook too!

I was also the tail end of "proper" school dinners. I really believe this was an important factor.

I remember when my middle school sent around a questionnaire asking what sort of food we would like to see served, and most people put roast dinner, and I can remember writing spaghetti bolognese. I was 9. Shortly afterwards, the school introduced "main meals" (50p) and "snacks" (30p) and the snacks consisted of bacon rolls, biscuits and crisps. Even at my tender age I remember being appalled at quality of the "snack". Most kids took 50p in with them, spent 30p on the snack so they could save the 20p for sweets on the way home. Including me sometimes, although I mostly ate the main meal, cause I LIKED them!

And it all went downhill from there...

JanH Sun 20-Feb-05 15:28:00

There was an excellent piece about this in one of the papers - would do a link but can't find the one I want now. Anyway it mentioned that although Jamie managed to do what he did on 37p per head, he had to call in a lot of favours, and the equivalent would cost local authorities at least 50p.

What I want to know is, if they could do food like that for 50p a head, why do so many schools charge £2 or something for rubbish? And why is my DSs' secondary school allowed to charge 50p for eg a very very small portion of chips and 15p for a slice of toast? School dinners shouldn't be an area for profiteering!

Re healthy food - in 7 years of secondary school dinners in the dark ages when I was at school we had chips three times

JanH Sun 20-Feb-05 15:33:31

Found it!

treacletart Sun 20-Feb-05 15:41:29

Love him or hate him, truth is he's an incredibly inluential guy - lets hope he does as much for school dinners as he's done to get young blokes into the kitchen and fresh herbs into supermarkets

treacletart Sun 20-Feb-05 15:44:33

I'm looking forward to wednesday

happymerryberries Sun 20-Feb-05 15:57:26

Our dinner ladies do very well, and there is always something hot and nutricious that the kids can eat at lunchtime. However many of them will opt for a plate of chips and cheese, even more will come in with crisps and coke and mars bars.

It is all well and good lambasting the schools for this (and we have only just got rid of the dreadful panda pops and chocolate vending machine so I know schools are not blameless) but where are the parents in all of this? Are we realy so weak wiled that we are afraid to tell our kids what is good for them?

I get fed up of teaching 'food groups' to kids, stressing the improrance of fresh fruit and veg to have them tell me that they are OK because 'my mum buys me SunnyD miss'. Ah yes, that will explain the florid gum disease!

WestCountryLass Sun 20-Feb-05 17:31:02

Apparantly on Wednesday the local government of the borough he worked in is going to look at whether they can increase the budget for school dinners but the outcome is likely to be a resounding no. Appanratly the choice is to either reduce other educational resources like books or increase council tax...The dinner ladies have also said they do not have enough time to prepare all the fruit and veg that his menues demand.

I am all for school dinners being improved but with a budget of 37p a head it looks unlikely

ks Sun 20-Feb-05 17:50:52

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Sun 20-Feb-05 18:09:28

I'm looking forward to watching this.

SueW Sun 20-Feb-05 18:22:24

I agree that parents should be making a noise about this and maybe some will after this programme. I regularly hear complaints about the lunches at school - from parents at the gates - and I suggest they write in and complain but they don't!

The children (5-11yo) at our school are given a choice: two non veggie main courses, one veggie main course, salad or sandwiches. Puds are hot pud (say sponge/pie/crumble & custard), yoghurt, fresh fruit or cheese and biscuits. - and lots of parents complain that their children choose the 'bad' option. Chips are only available once a week on Friday, with fish although smiley faces/waffles or similar might be offered during the week with say nuggets as one of the options.

I'm really looking forward to the show though. The River Cafe owner did something similar to Jamie a while ago and it was featured in the Sunday Times but she too said she could only do it within the budget by calling in favours.

Twiglett Sun 20-Feb-05 18:26:35

he was on 'breakfast with frost' this morning and said something about in many counties there are children vomiting faeces because they don't eat veg and fruit [horror]

is there a petition or email campaign somewhere?

Twiglett Sun 20-Feb-05 18:28:01

personally I don't think children should be given choice .. there should be a main course (a vegetarian option) with assorted vegetables / salad and a dessert .. at least through primary

Enid Sun 20-Feb-05 18:32:02

He annoys me though, I remember reading an article where he proudly said that his wife takes a tupperware box of fresh fruit to kids parties and whips away the sweet cakes and gives them fruit instead.

I'd be very if a mum did that at one of my kid's parties!

Twiglett Sun 20-Feb-05 18:33:45


shame its got a wanky 'half a quid a kid' theme though

.. so would I Enid, but I don't believe that's true.. he's all for chips and pizza in their place isn't he?

spacedonkey Sun 20-Feb-05 18:44:34

I was impressed too. Shame he has to go and spoil it with his sick-making image because he's really a good bloke

Cod Sun 20-Feb-05 18:45:05

Message withdrawn

tigermoth Sun 20-Feb-05 18:45:57

As it happens, the secondary school featured in this programme is just down the road from us. I know it's reputation well. I work for the said local authority, but not for the education department. I know the Jamie Oliver issue has had big reverberations, though.

My son's primary school is one of 25 schools in our borough to introduce Jamie's new menu. My son says all the cakey, tarty puddings have disappeared, but it doesn't matter for him as he has packed lunches anyway.

Our authority has announced in a press release that it will try to provide healthier dinner menus to all schoolchilren in the borough.

My 5 year old son's after school playclubs seem exempt from this at the moment. He is offered crisps or biscuits as a snack. A colleague of mine who sends her son to the same playclub is busy taking this up with the management, in the light of all the Jamie Oliver publicity.

happymerryberries Sun 20-Feb-05 18:53:14

I don't think that the world is going to stop spinning because a child has the odd biscuit. The trouble is that a large number of children eat crap all day, everyday. And some parents support them is this and serve up more crap when the kids get home. Large numbers of the kids I teach cannot eat with a knife and fork and have table manners that would offend in the farm yard. It isn't thier fault they just have never had to eat with a knife and fork. At the end of break time the playground is strewn with food that the kids don't want and they just trrow it on the floor. Which attracts seagulls and rats, nice.

tigermoth Sun 20-Feb-05 18:56:31

That;s shocking happymerryberries,

I have to say I was shocked when I was looking round secondary schools and saw the canteen menus. Not just the chips with everything lists, but also the prices!

happymerryberries Sun 20-Feb-05 19:09:16

I would say that about a third of all the children will leave a table strewn with food, wrappers, drinks containers etc. They will make no effort to limit the mess they make (make more mess than my 5 year old). When I ask them to clear up, and take the bin to their table to make their life easy, they will always say, ' But that is the cleaners job, not mine'. And at this point my eyes narrow and they decide that it is better to clear up than have a break time DT. But you honestly onder what happens in their homes, treat their mother like a skivvy , I expect!

pupuce Sun 20-Feb-05 19:14:57

Well Enid - I stuff my kids before parties so that they limit their intake of crap offered at birthday parties..., YES most (I would say all) birthday parties offer crap food - sorry!
My kids' birthday parties are known to be with healthy food and healthy party bags (raisins, satusmas and toys)..... maybe one day my kids will resent that - who knows !

As for kids being taught to eat healthy stuff... we're having a laugh????????? As many of you know I work as a postnatal doula which means that on most days I serve tea to toddlers (whose mother just had a newborn).
I can NOT remember one child drinking water with his meal though I have tried to encourage it. There is always nuggets, "dinosaurs", chips, waffles and other fatty ready made "junk" in people's fridge. Mothers often ask me if I can make something healthy... I do... child looks un-impressed and gets a cadbury ice cream as pud (as a reward for not eating the vegetables or anything else)... BTW I always ask kids what vegetables they like, the choice is always very small (some have never even had courgettes, peppers, aubergines, leeks, green beans, parsnips,...)
They of course would rather have have tinned pasta, a bowl of cereal (which contains a hell of a lot of sugar), Incredibles yogourt, ready-made pizza (I make my own from scratch with my kids, it takes 3 mins... OK dough takes 1 hour to rise).

So when do they actually eat freshly cooked vegetables ? I genuinely wonder !!!

I am sure some kids eat well but I have never been impressed with the kids I serve tea for, these kids are from well-off families too. And they eat very small quantities... of course they do get biscuits as snacks (bourbon cream, chocolate chips,...)

OK now I have made three million ennemies

WideWebWitch Sun 20-Feb-05 19:15:13

I think he's doing a good thing and someone has needed to do this and state the obvious about school dinners for a long time. I sometimes despair of Jamie though, he recently admitted he took 15 grand from Heinz to put baked beans on the menu at Fifteen. He has apologised though and taken them off the menu so I think I'll forgive him for that and support this campaign because it's really a worthwhile one. Shame it takes a celeb chef though rather than an education authority/government! But hey, that's the way it is in this country.

sacha3taylor Sun 20-Feb-05 19:32:43

I am so proud of my children, my DS is 5 and DD 2.5 and i do let them eat dinosours or chicken drummers twice a week however, they have them with pasta and 2 veg! neither one of them really likes chips and the veg is the first thing to dissapear off their plates! I realise they are the exception rather than the rule but i just wanted to let people know that some kids do like veg!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: