Scottish kids will see many of their favorite foods disappearing from their school dinners, following reports from the NHS that 29% are at risk of being overweight, while 14% are thought to be at risk of obesity.
Education Secretary John Swinney is expected to announce even tougher changes to school food regulations, following a review of the current guidelines by health, nutrition and education experts.
Expected menu shakeup
- Cereals: Brands with more than 15g of sugar per 100g will be banned
- Sweetened and baked products such as sponge puddings, cookies, muffins and biscuits: No more than 10g of sugar per portion
- Yogurts: Limited to 10g of sugar per 100g
- Deep fried food: No more than three times per week
- Condiments: Salt shakers will be scrapped completely, while no more than 10ml of other condiments will be available to pupils
- Fruit juice: Children will be encouraged to drink milk or water instead
A lifestyle, not a diet
Swinney said more than 360,000 meals were served in Scottish schools daily, which had the potential to instill lifelong healthy eating habits in children.
However, last month, it was reported that more than half of the schools inspected since 2012 missed the targets set by health and nutrition inspections carried out by Education Scotland.
It also recently emerged that more than 500 children aged between two and four have been referred to health specialists in the past three years due to concerns about their weight.
Under the new proposals, Kellogg's Coco Pops, General Mills’ Cheerios and Honey Monster Foods’ Sugar Puffs are expected to be scrapped from school breakfast clubs in favor of healthier options like Weetabix and Cornflakes.
Bakery goods are also expected to get the cut.
The expert group argued that, while chocolate and sweets were banned in school following the nutritional guidelines introduced in 2008, muffins, cakes and biscuits should be added to the list as they are high in fat and sugar.
Other items anticipated to get blue-penciled are fruit juices, smoothies and salt, while controls will be placed on the amount of red processed meat, such as bacon and sausages, that each secondary school pupil consume to 130g per week.
The government declined to comment in advance of Swinney’s formal announcement, expected out soon.