What’s in a Meal
Looks like school meals are back on the menu again, with the topic of debate this week being the mixed reactions to the new 2021 menus.
This is not one of my usual subjects, but over the last couple of days I have noticed a few parents discussing this issue in various social media groups.
From what I can gather a few parents are complaining about the new menu being too vegetarian and that there isn’t much in the way of real meat being offered. Parents also wanted to know why they weren’t consulted about the menu changes and some have contacted schools and councils to voice their concerns.
There was also some confusion over the amount of meat being offered, as some parents had been told one thing while some had been told something different, for example one parent was led to believe that no red meat was allowed whereas another in the same group had been told that red meat would only be available twice a week (remember that much of this information was being passed on through the kids). Most of the grievances seemed to be born from confusion and the lack of information. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the guidance on the Scotgov website was a lengthy read.
Following changes made to policies regarding dietary requirements for children, new government guidelines were introduced regarding school meals and as such all menus must now comply with the Scottish Government’s Schools (Nutrition and Health Promotion) (Scotland) Act.
While most of the concerns raised within the various groups were legitimate, there were a number of discussions where blame was being apportioned towards certain parties, with some people becoming quite vocal in the political blame game (must be an election coming up).
It also hasn’t helped matters that at the time of writing the menu for Dumfries and Galloway hadn’t been submitted for publication on the councils website so no one could make an informed decision. However, this hasn’t stopped some people from going into full keyboard warrior mode, attacking other group members over their opinions, criticising the council, targeting the schools and publicly demanding answers from MSP’s, head teachers and councillors, none of which means anything if there isn’t an actual menu to discuss.
That being said, if after viewing the menu you still have concerns over the choices available for your child, you can always take this up with the council or discuss it with the schools catering team, most council websites have this information along with contact details.
Hopefully the release of the menu will calm things down a bit and answer some of the questions being asked, and for those pointing political fingers at the Labour/SNP council may I remind you that it was 322 Conservatives who voted against giving kids south of the border free school meals during the October holidays.
Since writing this article the D & G School Meals Website has been updated to show the new menu’s
So is it a Vegetarian menu as some are claiming?
Well take a look for yourselves, and make your own minds up….