Students dodge healthy food guidelines

Last updated 01:01 01/07/2008
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/Dominion Post
NOT SO HEALTHY? Tuck shop healthy eating guidelines have had the opposite effect at Wellington High School - with pupils feasting on sausage sizzles and pies. Keri Howlett-Hewitt, Royce Liu and Joel Latimer tuck in.

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Healthy eating guidelines for tuck shops have had the opposite effect at Wellington High School - with pupils feasting on daily sausage sizzles and pies from the local dairy.

The school's cafe operator has thrown in the towel, saying she could not turn a profit under the Education Ministry's new healthy eating regime.

With no canteen till next term, a group fundraising for a Japanese trip has seized on the opportunity by setting up a daily sausage sizzle and baking stall - despite ministry attempts to clamp down on high fat and sugary foods to help fight obesity.

The high school has also relaxed rules barring junior pupils from heading to the local dairy to grab a bite to eat.

The Dominion Post watched yesterday as a stream of pupils headed to the nearby Wallace St shop for mince pies, chippies and fizzy drinks.

Dozens of others feasted on $2 sausages with tomato sauce, fried onions and white bread at lunchtime.

Principal Prue Kelly was relaxed about the week-long sausage sizzle, saying she hoped pupils would support the fundraising effort.

Asked if the new culinary option met the ministry's healthy eating guidelines, she said: "Who knows? It's how we're coping with the problem today.

"I think they're using brown bread instead of white.

"They look like pretty good sausages to me. In fact I might get one."

Keri Howlett-Hewitt bypassed the sausage sizzle for a butter chicken pie and hot samosa from the dairy. 

The 16-year-old usually brought his own lunch to school and admitted his choice of food yesterday was unhealthy.

The tuck shop used to provide healthy options, "but it wasn't that appealing - not when there's hot chips", he said.

Neither the ministry nor Education Minister Chris Carter's office were clear last night whether fundraising sausage sizzles were caught by the new healthy tuck shop requirements.

But ministry senior manager Colin McGregor said the fry-up was only temporary and the guidelines were not intended to ban certain foods.

Healthy fundraising food ideas available to schools online included plain popcorn, fruit kebabs and corn on the cob.

 

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- The Dominion Post

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