I always wanted a Scooby lunchbox when I was kid. Scooby was considered to be very cool. More importantly, the possession of such an item meant my gastrointestinal system was spared the rigours of the British school dinner. Think Spam fritters, unidentifiable fatty bits of meat and copious amounts of spotted dick and custard for starters.
I never got the lunch box.
My gastrointestinal system never recovered.
Of course, with the increasing focus on childhood obesity and the appearance of Type 2 diabetes in adolescents, things have changed considerably in the school canteen. Out go the soft drinks and unhealthy food choices, in come more sensible offerings.
Not a Spam fritter in sight. Despite Monty Python waxing lyrical on "Spam, wonderful Spam", this has got to be a relief whichever way you look at it.
However, attention is now being turned to the content of lunch boxes. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that some pre-schools and kindergartens across Sydney and NSW are now checking lunch boxes and returning contraband items, such as chocolate frogs or fruit rollups, home uneaten.
Where were they when I wanted to be rescued from that Spam fritter?
Educating children to eat healthily from an early age is an excellent idea. There is no argument about that. However, I am not sure that banning certain items is a good idea. Good eating habits revolve around balance. Labelling an item "bad" is not necessarily a good thing. Everything in moderation after all. Banning an item could ultimately make it more desirable. Many of us want what we can't have.
My child receives one treat weekly in her lunch box. The rest of her lunch material is healthy. I would be pretty annoyed if someone went through her lunch box and sent that home.
Do you object to the lunch box police?