'They should let kids be kids': Parents slam school that is 'taking chocolate bars, low fat crisps, sausage rolls, cereal …
A parent has slammed a school at the centre of a row over a controversial healthy eating policy after his son was offered fruit instead of eating the low-fat oven-baked crisps in his packed lunch.
David Birks says the rules at Abbey Hulton Primary School, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, are ‘completely ridiculous’.
The rules state parents should not put foods including chocolate bars, sweets, sausage rolls, cereal bars and flavoured water in packed lunches.
The 45-year-old has spoken out after claiming his son, Conor, was not allowed to eat his packet of Walkers crisps as part of his packed lunch.
But that has been denied by the school which says Conor turned down a piece of fruit.
He is also angry that pupils are now having to drink water or milk rather than juice – and believes it is an attempt to make parents pay for school dinners.
David, of Abbey Hulton, said: ‘The school’s healthy eating policy has gone too far. Conor came home from school this week and told me he wasn’t allowed to eat the crisps that I’d packed in his lunch box for him.
‘He apologised for not eating them. He also said they wouldn’t let him drink his juice either – they made him drink water. I wonder if they are trying to force everyone into school meals.’
David Birks (pictured with his son Conor) says the rules at Abbey Hulton Primary School, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, are ‘completely ridiculous’
The 45-year-old has spoken out after claiming his son (pictured) was not allowed to eat his packet of Walkers crisps as part of his packed lunch
He added: ‘They should let children be children. The responsibility of what the children eat should be with their parents and I think these new rules are taking the guidelines too far. Conor is a healthy and active young lad – all of my kids are slim, athletic and eat well.
‘I can’t see why the school is policing the lunch boxes like this. Crisps are not banned, it is just a guideline. My children have good sandwiches, a little bit of juice, fruit and a low-fat bag of crisps. I never thought low-fat crisps would be a problem.’
Fellow parent and mum-of-three Bernadette Finnegan, of Bucknall, made national headlines after leading the protests over the school’s flavoured water rule.
Abbey Hulton Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (pictured), has come under fire for its controversial healthy eating policy
On Conor’s situation, headteacher Linda Williams said: ‘The pupil was offered fruit as an alternative to crisps but chose instead to eat their original snack. There was no issue, whatsoever, with them not swapping.
She added: ‘We regularly work with parents regarding our approach to promoting good health in school. Swapping to healthier snack options is often offered to pupils as part of the wider healthy eating approach taken within the school.
‘We would welcome any parent who has concerns or wants to discuss the school’s policy on healthy eating to talk to us directly. We work extremely hard to keep children fit and healthy while at school and have a number of schemes for our pupils to help with this.
‘This work is making a positive difference to children’s lives and is well supported by the children and their parents.’