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Learn while you eat

Meal times for pupils should be "important social, cultural and aesthetic experiences", according to a veteran campaign leader for pre-schooling.

Peter Moss, writing in the latest issue of Children in Europe magazine, says that, at its best, this is the experience in other European countries.

A survey of nurseries and schools across Europe suggests that lunching with peers gives children a positive attitude towards eating, which can have a significant impact in later life.

Bronwen Cohen, chief executive of Children in Scotland, comments: "In the UK, many three and four-year-olds go to school nurseries part-time and do not stay for lunch."

In a German kindergarten, children help to bake bread, pre-school children in Sweden make a cooking hole for eating outdoors and Italian youngsters look after school vegetable gardens.

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