A mum in Wales has criticised her 9-year-old’s son’s school for serving him inadequate meals, due to the fact he is coeliac.
Bridget Beecham says her little boy is being offered the bare minimum for lunch because of his intolerances, and is worried he’s being denied a decent meal in the cold weather.
She told Wales Online:
“Most days he’s served chips and beans and is never offered anything other than a yogurt for dessert.”
“[One day last week] he was given peas, potatoes and carrots because there was no meat available.
“Coeliac disease these days is well heard of. He’s being penalised because he has coeliac disease.
“There’s plenty of gluten-free food, so it’s probably just to do with cost.”
Here at MFM, we’ve done a bit of research about what schools should be doing in cases where kids have food allergies and intolerances and, from what we can gather, they are required to make ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure they cater for the diets of their pupils.
Bridget says the school has offered to cook food for her son if she provides it, which we think sounds like it could be a good solution.
And head teacher Michael Williams has said this:
“Although it wouldn’t be appropriate for the school to speak publicly about individual cases, what I can say is that, when one of our children has special dietary requirements, the school works very closely with the family to plan how best to meet those needs.
“The school follows the education catering daily menus, and in the main those meals on offer can cater for individual needs, such as providing gluten-free ingredients.
“However, sometimes the meals do need to be adjusted, but the kitchen manager works closely with families to ensure those alternatives are appropriate.
“The kitchen manager and I are always available to meet with parents if they have any concerns that they wish to discuss with us.”
We’re guessing that if you really want to make sure your kids are getting the kind of meal you want them to at school, providing a packed lunch might be the best option.
On the other hand, we also get that during the cold and frosty winter months you’d quite like them to have a hot meal too.
Though, with the budget and time restraints most schools have – we also see how providing meals for kids with various dietary requirements could become a bit of a mare.
What do you think?
Does your little one have any food intolerances and, if so, have you thought about what you’ll do when it comes to school meals?
Perhaps you’ve had a really positive – or negative – experience of school lunches for your child?
Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook