Should We Be Paying Closer Attention To Our Children’s School Meals?

Should We Be Paying Closer Attention To Our Children’s School Meals?

It took a celebrity chef in the form of Jamie Oliver to open a lot of our eyes as to what exactly goes on in school cafeteria and a lot of the findings weren’t pretty. Now with childhood obesity on the rise it seems even greater steps have to be taken to ensure we are setting our children off on the right path to a happy and healthy future.

In order to do this the European Commission has published the first ever comprehensive report on school food policies in Europe. What this first shows is that all of us across the EU’s 28 countries (as well as Norway and Switzerland) acknowledge the importance of food on a child’s health and also their performance at school. All of these countries have existing guidelines for what quality of food should be provided to children at school but as you might imagine these guidelines vary considerably between countries. You can see examples of these different measures that vary from the banning of vending machines to voluntary guidelines given to children about portion sizes.

A disturbing report has stated how nearly one in three children in Europe is overweight and the consequences of this are that they will develop nasty habits they will take into later life and also risk developing a number of preventable illnesses and diseases. Any place that your child spends a large quantity of their time is going to affect them in some way and therefore schools play an important part in developing healthy eating habits as you children are likely to eat one to two of their main meals a day there.

The assessment is therefore a step in the right direction to learn as much as we can from other countries to help limit the risk of obesity. Not only is it an interesting read but it also can provide a strong basis for any European policymakers, education boards or researchers to investigate the link between school food policies and obesity in children and the best ways to promote a healthy diet.

Some interesting findings from the report show that only half the countries in Europe have either banned vending machines or restricted the products to healthier food types. Surely either removing all of them or only offering natural products is an immediate way to cut back on over eating at a young age. Who can blame a child for being tempted to have a chocolate bar when they end up walking past a vending machine full of them everyday? Even the best of us would struggle to exercise that self control a lot of the times so how can we expect a child to do so?

Most of the findings showed that schools supported the restrictions or recommendations related to the availability of fizzy beverages (65-82%), with the majority of them having free access to water. But this is something that could easily be improved.

Overall it seems that we might just have to get Jamie Oliver back in to save all of Europe and maybe even Sean T from the Insanity workouts to make sure our children are getting the exercise they need!

August’s Food Trends

August’s Food Trends

Sometimes it is hard to stay on top of all the comings and goings in the world of food, whether it is a new restaurant launch, the latest food crazes or a quirky new cooking tool that will make your life so much easier. So in order to keep you with current places to eat, ways to cook and things to talk about, we have compiled a list of August’s growing food trends.

The Rise of Pickling
Pickles were once a staple in our homes and down at the local pub, but now the pickle has become much more of a classy affair and it is seeing a rise to the big leagues. Now no chef is worthy of his title if he hasn’t dabbled in putting his own spin on one of the most classic ways of preserving food.

This trend is so prominent in London that restaurants such as Rawduck now have their own pickles menu! Now there is a pretty strong belief that pickling has moved on from being some old tradition you do in your home and now the vast majority of chefs have their own pickles that perfectly compliment a large variety of foods on the menu.

Milk From Vending Machines
A trend that has already got traction in the EU is that of shoppers being able to buy raw, unpasteurised milk from vending machines. The recommendation for this to happen in the UK by the food safety regulator has caused some controversy too! The FSA believe that consumers should have greater access to raw drinking milk after they found that most people supported a relaxation of the rules. Up to now raw milk can only be bought directly from farmers and sales are controlled strictly because of the potential harmful bacteria that could be in the milk. We’ll just have to wait and see whether it goes ahead.

Chipotle Giveaway
On a lighter note Chipotle has announced a burrito bonanza, after they have promised to giveaway 14,000 free burritos for a week during August. Check out their site for more details.

The Philips Noodle Maker
The latest gadget to be released is the inventive noodle maker from Philips. Anyone who likes noodles or pasta and has ever fancied creating their own would love this product. It is capable of producing 500 grams of noodles in just 15 minutes! And it does all your favourite styles too, whether you are partial to udon, soba or ramen noodles. If you really want this product then you’ll have to get it delivered from either Japan or Hong Kong, otherwise you will have to wait for it to makes its move over to the West.

Eating with the Chefs
One of the cooking books released this month that is of note is Per-Anders Jorgenson’s Eating with the Chefs. Jorgenson’s photography captures staff meals at some of the best restaurants around the world and throws in 50 recipes to top it all off. There are some beautiful images of the time when a lot of people believe the best food is cooked in a restaurant…for the staff.

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