Love Jamie & Leon: date or school dinner?
How can you improve school food? Turns out as a parent you can do nothing and then one day you’ll be asked by Leon – that wonderful chain of delicious food that I’ve only been able to afford to visit once – to give some feedback about how to make school dinners better via the School Food Plan. For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children see https://homemadekids.wordpress.com, or www.nicolabaird.com
A few years ago I made a terrible mistake with my daughter Lola’s packed lunch. I sent her to school with a healthy lunch instead of using the school dinners (this was in the turkey twizzler times and before free school meals for all primary school children in Islington). That day Lola also had to hand over a similar-sized tupperware container of 5cm long Indian stick insects to the nursery classroom. Unfortunately the labels were dislodged and she managed to mix up the boxes…
…And so at lunch time Lola opened up a box of stick insects. It looked as if mega insects were her dish of the day.
Cue mad screaming from a table of seven year olds. And from all the kids having lunch in the hall.
Fortunately the three stick insects were not hurt in the melee, and eventually ended up in a suitable lidded and well-ventilated container in the Nursery.
Unfortunately the teaching assistant assigned to locate Lola’s real lunch (which by then the school had worked out must be inside the tupperware container in the nursery) opened it up and gave a shriek. Wriggling over the tasty houmus sandwich and apple slices were little white caterpillars.
Only my daughter realised that these were moth larvae. She was also the only one to realise that they must have hatched out fast in the warmth of the Nursery, emerging from the dried raisin box that I’d assumed she’d eat as a lunchtime treat. She wasn’t scared of the wriggly caterpillars, but she certainly reveled in making yet another person in the school scream.
Of course the unlucky teaching assistant was appalled by Lola’s neglectful mother and sent a stroppy note home about how I shouldn’t send the kids to school with “maggots in their lunch boxes”.
What’s for dinner?
Every time I see a magazine cooking spread with lush pictures of chocolate covered locusts or crispy fried ants – billing insects as the new healthy protein-filled snacks I think about that mix-up day and laugh. Insects on the school menu – not a chance.
But now I’ve heard that Leon is taking up where lovely Jamie Oliver left off and are trying to find ways to improve school food. There’s a 2-min youtube video here which shows how working with Department of Education, Leon are taking a temperature take of where we are now. Below is a list of where they are hunting for the best ideas. Maybe you’ll be lucky and you’ll get an invite – or an opportunity to participate – too.
School Food Plan roadshow…
Leeds, David Young Community Academy – Thursday, 14 February 2013
Manchester, East Manchester Academy – Monday, 25 February 2013
Newcastle, Benfield School – Monday, 4 March 2013
Bristol, Redland Green School – Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Norwich, Ormiston Victory Academy – Friday, 15 March 2013
Birmingham, Hillcrest School – Thursday, 21 March 2013
London, Grey Coat Hospital CofE School – Monday, 25 March 2013
Over to you
How do you deal with school lunches – pack your own or let your kids risk the queues so they get a shared experience? And what would make your school’s lunches into fun but nutritious fast food?
Tags: eating insects, free school meals, FSM, fun fast food, healthy lunches, healthy meals, improve school food, indian stick insects, insects, leeds lunches, leon school food plan, packed lunches, school food campaign, school food plan, school lunch, stick insectsYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.