Posts Tagged ‘health’

No more sweets!

In Events, General thoughts on January 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm

As from this year, school canteens in Mauritius are prohibited to sell any sweets, crackers or any type of oily snacks. The government has emitted a list of products allowed for sale as follows:

  • Water
  • Tapioca,sweet potatoes,maize (boiled)
  • Dholl puri
  • Farata
  • Idli
  • Nuts (grilled / boiled)
  • Crêpes
  • Puddings: bread/tapioca/maize/wheat
  • Pulses
  • Poutou
  • Stuffed bread (no oily stuff though)
  • Fruits

Out of all these products, I find only a few that children might like. The rest might be very difficult to make them accept. Unless some canteen tenants come up with original ways of presenting the products to children.

This step was taken to promote a better eating habit among children and thus reduce diseases like diabetes, atherosclerosis etc to spread in our society. The intentions are good, noble too. Yet so drastic! And we wonder how effective. The products listed above won’t cost less than Rs2-3. I think the minimum price will be at least Rs5 since the ingredients themselves are not so cheap. Will every children be able to afford for this? My mother being the Officer in charge of a school, often tells us that the children at her school are so poor they cannot even afford for a sweet daily. How do we expect then, that such children will buy those products? Some have debated that the list contains no yoghurt, even if it did, the question rises again – would all children be able to afford for it?

Having a healthy diet is therefore somehow costly. Yes, there were children who were abusing on sweets, snacks etc but still there were those who dreamt of having at least one sweet per day while going to school. Today, in the attempt of making our children have a healthier diet, are we thinking of those who cannot? When we talk about a healthy diet it is not only about reducing the amount of sugary and junk food but it is also in bringing a well balanced diet to the child. I see mostly carbs food in the list above…

And as far as I know pupils, this is never going to stop them from buying sweets and all sorts of junk food. This is only a restriciton within school premises. Outside it is another story. Anyway the food habits of children are not only the school’s responsibility, it is that of parents too. And no matter how much we can try to prevent them from eating sweets and junk food, they will end up some day in eating it. It’s only an education about how to eat and when to eat that needs to be done. We ought to change our eating habits first of all and children will directly follow, since they grasp habits right from their early years.