Don’t Ban The School Cake Sale Jamie!
Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners
Hitting the headlines recently is Jamie Oliver and his school food campaigns. He has provided his input into many campaigns of late that aim to clean up school dinners and educate society into healthy eating practices. I am in full support of all of them. I admire Jamie Oliver, I love his cooking style and own a few of his recipe books.
But part of his next campaign I have to say I have a little issue with. He has called for a ban on cake bake sales at schools. His reason being that they support bad habits and encourage unhealthy rewards.
“Unhealthy foods, like sweets, chocolate
and cakes, are commonly used as part of school
reward, celebration and fundraising activities.
This contradicts pupils’ food education and
Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation is calling for all schools to become “healthy zones” where health and wellbeing are a primary focus. I fully support this proposal. I totally agree that healthy food should not be more expensive than fatty or sugary alternatives at lunch time. I think any school that uses marketing techniques like when supermarkets offer sweet treats near the till are appalling. School dinners are really important and I have recently discussed this after sandwiches became an option in my daughters school.
He does have a point when he calls for an end to rewarding pupils with 100% attendance with doughnuts or have treats offered to take part in extracurricular activities such as revision sessions.
However a bake sale to raise funds for the school is totally different in my eyes. It may encourage some families to spend time in the kitchen together baking. It’s a few cakes or biscuits where the proceeds are donated towards a cause for the school. It’s fun. Whilst some schools do have rather a lot of fundraising events, I doubt there is a cake sale so frequently that it is a contributing factor towards rising obesity rates. Cake sales are once in while. School dinners are 5 days a week. I really think everyday practices should be main focus of his campaigns.
Personally I would love to schools promote basic cooking skills with children, even in primary school.
Whilst I think that there is much that can be done to educate children (and parents) about healthy cooking and eating I really don’t think the good old cake sale is a problem.
What do you think?
Is the cake sale a problem at school?
How do you think schools could better promote healthy eating?