Even if Jamie Oliver does succeeds in making a difference to our children’s health, could the Beeb actually sabotage some of his good work?
The chef and dad-of-four is keen to help a generation of children become healthier and more active, writes Shirley Tart. He wisely thinks they will go on to be healthy adults, setting the best example for their own children.
He’s a good egg, isn’t he? Well, not according to an army of critics – and more pointedly parents – who fill lunch boxes with pastries, crisps and chocolate because the kids ‘don’t like school dinners or salad, fruit and lean meat’.
Of course they don’t. Too many of them are programmed to respond only to crispy things and sugar-loaded, strange-coloured drinks.
I know it’s a contentious issue, parents after all should be able to have control over their own children’s lives and guide them into the best and safest paths for the future, shouldn’t they?
But in the absence of much interest in providing food which isn’t instantly easy, is fat-laden and is so often non-nutritious, Oliver is trying his best to be an enthusiastic guide into better habits. Bully for him, I say.
Yet one cynical answer from daft parents was to push chips through school railings at lunchtime for little darlings who wouldn’t eat anything else.
Thousands ignore advice and stoke up trouble in a big way – added to which, the children have every electronic gadget known to man so they never even have to even leave their chocolate-wrapper strewn bedrooms.
And now, it seems, the Beeb plans to air more children’s programmes after the one-time traditional 7pm bed time, so encouraging them to watch the box late into the night.
Aunty also plans more apps, computer games and online content to tempt youngsters with mobile gadgets.
The new suggestions have led to disapproval from groups who do have the welfare of our youngsters at heart and think it will all just shatter sensible bedtimes.
As teachers already report more pupils arriving at school exhausted from late night viewing, if they are not eating sensibly either and rarely exercising, what’s the point in saying we should leave their welfare to the parents? I rest my case.
On behalf of the nation’s young, I’m on Jamie’s side!