I was disgusted and astounded when I read that hundreds of primary schools are planning to drop meat from children’s dinners.
There is nothing healthy about this.
It is probably just a cost cutting exercise. Human beings aren’t meant to be vegetarians. People are meant to eat between three and four ounces of meat or fish a day.
Meat is an important source of the minerals iron and zinc, of protein and of the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12.
A deficiency of these minerals can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, anaemia, reduced resistance to infection, impaired growth and development and loss of appetite.
These minerals also aid the action of many enzymes. Vitamin B12 is needed for making DNA, RNA and myelin.
It is also needed for cell division and the transportation of folate into cells.
Some children are fussy eaters to start with without them being deprived of the goodness of meat.
The best school dinners were when I was young, before children were given a choice.
Our only choice was take it or leave it!
We had a glass of water and a proper cooked dinner – none of this sandwiches or biscuits business.
Our cooked meal usually consisted of mashed potato, vegetables and meat. Sometimes we got fish instead of meat or a scotch egg.
For dessert we usually had a pudding (such as ginger) an custard. This made sure we all had some milk and calcium.
Sometimes we had a delicious fruit salad, not like you buy in tins, with lots of fresh fruit (including bananas) in lots of natural juice.
These days, little children from the age of three are having to make important decisions about what to eat for dinner.
Some might miss out protein (which should be eaten every dinner time), some might miss out vegetables and others might pick a plate of carbohydrates or sugary food.
Parents aren’t even told of the choices in the Echo now. There used to be menus for the whole week.