Council suggests some children prefer processed foods

A Welsh council has said that children may not be accepting free school meals because they prefer ultra-processed foods.

BBC News reported the Monmouthshire Council said that nearly a quarter of children were not accepting their free school meals. 

Canteens being noisier was another reason cited as to why pupils may be refusing free school meals.

Council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby told BBC News: "There is hypothesis in some areas, it is deeply worrying and it is shared across Wales and being fed back by all local authorities."

She said: "Those from households that have a high dependency on ultra-processed foods, the take up of what is basically a home cooked, nutritionally good to an all-Wales standard meal of low salt and sugar content, is not acceptable to the taste buds of certain children who do not want the meals.”

She also claimed the Welsh government’s rule on equal portion sizes for everyone (from four to 11-year-olds) was causing more food waste as the younger ones were struggling to eat as much as the older children.

She told BBC News the authority was monitoring the situation on a monthly basis.

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