Friday, 3 August 2012

Fruit Hypocrisy

In most schools in the UK, children are offered fruit at break times in the morning in a drive to improve the health of the nation and get kids eating at least one of their five a day.
I know from experience that some children do not like fruit. You can dress it up however you like but they still sniff it out in disgust. It's a shame because most babies I know love fruit, but somewhere along the way they've decided it's actually not very nice. Thing is, unless you buy fruit from M&S, it usually tastes pretty, well, fruitless. Strawberries just taste of icey water with a hint of something or other, raspberries last about three seconds in your house before they turn to mush, and bananas are green for two weeks then ripe for two minutes before turning to brown. Something isn't right, and I suspect it's to do with the fact that a lot of fruit is picked before it is ripe and then left to ripen in transit. Not exactly a natural state of affairs is it, it's not surprising they all taste faintly of, well, nothing.


Anyway, back to the fruit in schools initiative. It backfires in oh so many ways. Firstly, let's take the carrots. I don't know about you but I like my raw carrots to be both peeled and washed - the ones offered to children in school are neither, and are usually pretty manky. Next let's look at the pears, they are rock rock rock hard. As an adult you would struggle to break through them, how are 5 year olds meant to do it? Then we have the green bananas, impossible to peel and so unripe that they must lead to stomach aches in the children. How can we expect our children to eat fruits if this is what they are presented with? We've gone wrong somewhere along the line with this one?  I can see the logic of the fruit thing, but someone forgot to take care with it, look after it, nurture it. They expected it to look after itself, but it didn't, it really didn't.
Does your child eat fruit in school? What do they say about it? Is it edible?

4 comments:

  1. I'd like to see schools look at more inventive ways of serving fruit. Although its good to have fruit I do feel that after a morning rushing around its not always filling enough for a small child. I' rather then did things like strawberries and bananas with a dark choc dip/carrott and cucumber battons with hummous and tzatziki etc. To be honest the fruit I've seen my daughter with is pretty uninspiring!

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    1. Agreed. The other thing is that children need carbs at break time to keep going until lunch. It's a long morning in school and as an adult I feel very hungry so I can only imagine they feel the same! Wonder if children would learn more if they were fed more in school?

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  2. My toddler loves fruit and always had-so many children I know adore them. Of course schools/nursery etc need to offer when possible ripe, seasonal fruit-no one wants a manky carrot or rock hard pear.

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    1. You're right. There seems to be a complete lack of empathy when it comes to providing the fruit - I would not want to eat an unripened banana or a hard pear so why would a child? What's more it could put them off fruit for good, precisely what the initiative is supposed to NOT do!

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