CHILDREN are finally coming round to the idea of healthy school meals, research found today.
The number of primary school children eating school dinners has risen for the first time since healthier meals were introduced, says a study from the School Food Trust and the Local Authority Caterers’ Association.
Take-up of meals across English primary schools now stands at 43.6%, an increase of 2.3% on last year.
In Kirklees the figure is above the average, reaching 48% of the children in primary schools.
The last time take-up of school meals increased was in 2004, the year before TV chef Jamie Oliver began his campaign for better- quality school dinners.
After his campaign won huge public support, Government ministers banned junk food from school canteens and vending machines.
In 2006 new rules to make food healthier were introduced in English schools.
But secondary schools are still not following the trend, with take-up down 0.5% this year.
Top cook Prue Leith, chairman of the School Food Trust, said: “Teenagers are independent young people and changing entrenched eating habits does not happen overnight.
“They need food education and encouragement to change eating habits.
“What is the alternative? Back to Turkey Twizzlers?”