A headteacher has issued a strongly worded newsletter to parents after finding several examples of ‘unacceptable’ foods in his pupil’s lunchboxes – including a cold McDonald’s Happy Meal.
Jon Carthy of Byron Primary School in Gillingham, Kent, issued the newsletter after becoming concerned about the contents of many of his student’s packed lunches.
In the note, he shared several examples of the foods being provided, as well as an explanation of why they were not appropriate midday meals.
‘In the past few weeks there have been a number of worrying packed lunches brought into school,’ Mr Carthy wrote. ‘Each of the bullet points below is a real example of complete home packed lunches provided to children in our school this year.’
He went on to list offerings including one McDonald’s Happy Meal (cold and purchased the previous evening), two bags of crisps and a crisp sandwich, four yogurts and a packet of Smarties, and one chocolate muffin, one chocolate roll and a bar of chocolate.
Image: Byron Primary School
‘Whilst extreme and funny to read on paper, I must make this clear THESE ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE examples of a balanced packed lunch,’ he added. ‘Children work very hard at school and a balanced meal at lunch time helps provide concentration for the afternoon.’
The newsletter also included helpful guidelines of what should be included in a healthy lunch, such as a portion of fruit or vegetables, a nutritious source of protein such as meat, fish or pulses, starches like bread or pasta and a dairy food such as milk or yogurt.
The school advises that snacks such as crisps or confectionery should not be included, with cakes and biscuits allowed but only as part of a balanced meal.
Mr Carthy later added during an interview with Kent Online: ‘We have 525 children at the school and every single child took that letter home and it has been posted on the website.’
‘I’ve only had positive comments back. Parents have said thank you and told me that someone needed to say this.’