The number of children taking up free school-meals in Bulwell is double the national average, it has been revealed.
So it is vital that dinners and lunches at the town’s schools are healthy to help the fight against childhood obesity, says Bulwell’s Labour MP Graham Allen.
“There is also evidence that a healthy diet can help young people and children to concentrate at school,” said Mr Allen.
The MP was speaking during National School Meals Week, which aims to celebrate innovative school-meal catering services.
Thousands of youngsters within his Nottingham North constituency, which includes Bulwell, now have free meals at school. And Mr Allen was full of praise for the skilled chefs and dinner ladies who prepare and serve the food.
“They are the main catalyst for enabling our children to have the highest quality food available to them,” he said. “Nutritious food choices that are low in salts, fats and sugar are one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, ensuring a healthy body and mind.
“The UK still struggles with the issue of overweight children, with almost a quarter being overweight by the time they start primary school and 18% of 11-year-olds obese.
“But in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar intake, schools in Nottingham North have now discontinued serving children fruit juice as part of their lunches.
“I believe that schoolchildren deserve nutritional and healthy food options. This will help them with their diet decisions and choices when they grow into young adults.”
As part of National School Meals Week, Mr Allen visited Djanogly Strelley Primary Academy, which is within his constituency, and revived memories of his own schooldays by helping the dinner ladies prepare a meal. He added: “Healthy school-lunches should be part of helping tackle childhood obesity.”