Sunday, September 14, 2008


British school children could soon be eating their school dinners off china plates if new government plans go ahead. It’s all part of a new initiative to encourage more secondary school pupils to take school dinners. Education minister Ed Balls has urged schools to offer a better restaurant style service to pupils. He suggested that school dinners should be served to pupils on china plates rather than the “prison style” trays that are currently used and they should also be given proper cutlery. Mr Balls would like to see school children treated like paying customers in a restaurant and is eager to make their dining experience more healthy and enjoyable.

In the future school meals will have to meet stringently high nutritional standards and provide guaranteed minimum levels of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They will also have to ensure that they don’t have a high salt, sugar or fat content. Schools which fail to meet the high standards required will be reported to local authorities. Future plans include staggered lunch break periods so that children who have just moved up to secondary school won’t feel intimidated eating meals in the same dining room as much older children. In addition children may soon be able to order their school meals on-line. The plans sound great in theory and if they get children staying at school and eating healthier meals, rather than going out at lunchtimes and eating chips and junk food, that’s great. The china plates and nice cutlery idea may encourage children to develop good table manners too, which is another plus factor.


Kyle and Svet Keeton said...

What do they say about the weight of china compared to plastic or fiberglass trays?

Seems kids would have a breakage issue with heavy glass type trays.

It sounds like a neat idea but I am not sure that everything has been thought through. Like increase in cost of china verse reusable plastic trays. The fact that once a china tray is chipped it has to be removed from service because of ability to cut someone. If dropped and broken the glass is dangerous.

Real silverware is a great idea!

Seems that you also have to use real glass glasses to drink from....

The nutrition end of it all is a good and always befitting to kids.

Good article.
Kyle & Svet

SandyCarlson said...

This is a great idea.

Kids here eat off of Styrofoam, too. Yuck.

I grew up in schools that had dishwashers that were never used. Wonder why....Perhaps they came in just as the disposable society was coming in.

Naomi said...

Yes I definitely think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed here Kyle and Svet, especially as there are children involved. In theory it would be nice for them to eat with proper cutlery and nice china but I agree there is the problem of the extra weight and breakages! The important thing is that the children eat balanced, healthy meals.

Yes it's no wonder children don't enjoy school dinners Sandy. Eating off styrofoam doesn't make them very appealing.