Parents trust kindergartens and preschools for more than the education they provide. Schools are also places where kids can play, eat nourishing food, and have a safe space to socialise. However, when it comes to food, you are bound to think sometimes, “Are school lunches unhealthy? Is it better to pack lunch from home instead?”
For mums and dads of preschoolers in China recently, it would have definitely been a better idea to send food from home on the 19th of September, 2018.
Earlier this year another preschool came under fire for serving little ones there just noodles and fish sauce for lunch
Are school lunches unhealthy? Yet another food scare in China’s kindergartens
On 19 September, the preschool staff at Tongxin Kindergarten allegedly gave little ones under their care rotten, worm-ridden food.
Specifically, the children received rice wriggling with black worms during lunchtime. The school also allegedly used vinegar that had expired by a year.
After inspecting Tongxin kindergarten, market regulation officials have found clear evidence supporting parents’ claims. They also found comparable issues in Dedebei kindergarten, another school under the same company as Tongxin.
Parents concerned of continuing food scandals
A dad, only known by his surname Xi, has a three-year-old son who was enrolled in Dedebei Kindergarten. According to the parent, his son fell ill only 3 days after beginning school.
“[He] began complaining of stomachaches in the morning. At first I thought he was making excuses not to go to school. But now that I think back, it must have been the spoilt lunches he’d had,” said Xi.
Xi stated that he is working with fellow parents to voice their proposals for school canteen reforms towards authorities.
“We just want to provide our children with a good school environment. We don’t want to pull our son out of school – he was only just getting to know his classmates. But we are also afraid that the government’s monitoring will be short-lived and might stop once the outrage over this issue blows over,” says Xi.
While authorities have been swift to respond and investigate, this incident is a good eyeopener for parents. Don’t be hesitant to question your child’s daycare or preschool about the kind of food they provide.
Ask them about how fresh the food is, who cooks it and what hygiene standards are maintained. You also have to right to ask about the nutritional value of meals provided at the school.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Kids should be eating food that is rich in calcium, such as milk, cheese, nuts, and yogurt. These can help develop strong bones and teeth.
- Meat is a good source of iron and protein, both of which are important in your child’s development.
- Fruits are also very important, since they contain vitamin C as well as other vitamins that keep your child healthy.
- Try to avoid giving your child fizzy or sugary drinks. Fresh fruit juice or plain water is always best.
- It’s also better to give your child healthy snacks such as dried fruit or carrot/celery sticks instead of chips and other junk food.
- Sweets are also a no-no as they can rot your child’s teeth and can even cause them to have type 1 diabetes!
References: South China Morning Post
200 students of CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh ill with food poisoning
Dealing with food poisoning in kids
Preschoolers hit by food poisoning
Kindergarten teachers arrested over hitting small children under their care
10 warning signs of a bad childcare centre