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School dinner providers 'should not force children to finish off lunch'
14 Nov 2011

People who provide and serve up school dinners to children should not force them to eat every last bit of their meal.

This is according to new advice published by the School Food Trust and seen by BBC News, which says this can be counterproductive.

It insists that making youngsters feel as though they have to eat everything put in front of them can have a long-term impact, with some potentially becoming over-eaters and others being put off certain foods for life.

Instead, it recommended using "taster portions so that children can try new dishes and flavours on a small scale first" and letting little ones move on to their next course if they cannot finish their first.

"It's about trying to engineer it so that what pupils are eating is nutritionally balanced. We wouldn't endorse forcing children to eat up everything on their plate," a spokesperson said.

Last week, the Local Authority Caterers Association found that 89 per cent of parents are satisfied with the meals their children are receiving from school catering services.

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