YEP Says: Moderation in all things should apply to packed lunches

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The idea of that popular 19th century proverb “moderation in all things” can be traced back to the Greeks from around 700 years BC.

We can thank the poet Hesiod, who said “‘observe due measure; moderation is best in all things” for our philosophy.

It’s particularly pertinent when we think about our food and drink intake. West Gate Primary School in Otley could save itself a lot of aggravation by looking back to Hesiod and adopting a more pragmatic approach to its otherwise laudable efforts to get its young charges to eat healthy food.

Schools have enough on their plates, if you’ll excuse the pun, with increasing class sizes, more and more testing and measuring and often coping with more than their fair share of social issues, without having to police lunchboxes and surely it’s not really their job anyway. Eating healthily and the benefits of doing so, could well be part of what is taught and it is fair to point out robustly to parents that pupils fired up on refined sugar and e-numbers are not going to be in the best state for learning. On the other hand labelling “good” foods and “bad” foods has the potential to open up a whole new world of eating and food anxieties and making judgements about others. Encouraging healthy eating is postitive – banning foods is negative. Simple. Besides, a bit of what you fancy does you good!

Michael Tennant.

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