A COUNCIL leader has welcomed Government plans to crackdown on fatty and sweet foods which will see every pupil in Hartlepool given milk during the school day.
The plans have been announced as part of new standards on school meals and Hartlepool council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said the measures will help tackle childhood obesity levels.
Milk must also be available to primary and secondary pupils during the school day under the new rules which come into force in January.
Pupils will only be offered two portions of deep-fried, battered and bread-crumb coated foods each week under the rules outlined by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Pastry-based dishes will be subject to the same restrictions, schools will be completely banned from offering chocolate and confectionery in canteens and tuck shops, and salt will not be available for pupils to add to food after it is cooked.
Coun Akers-Belcher said: “The council welcomes the new guidance, which will contribute to the overall strategy in Hartlepool to address childhood obesity and further improve nutritional standards for all young people in the town
“The new standards will ensure all young people taking up school meals in Hartlepool are provided with an extremely nutritious and balanced meal, providing all the vital vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development.”
Coun Akers-Belcher added that school cooks and catering teams have worked hard to improve standards, which was highlighted in the “excellent” take-up for school meals.
Schools will be able to decide when during the day they want to offer milk and there is no suggestion of a return to free milk for all primary school children.