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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: fish fingers

Think of a fish. Any fish. It could be round, flat, long or horse-like. It could be an anglerfish or a hagfish, a flying fish or a brownsnout spookfish. It could be a fish that can walk or a fish that can generate electric currents. But no matter which fish you think of, it will not have fingers.

So, when asked where fish fingers come from, is it any wonder that some children might think it was a trick question?

Research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), released this week, found that, when asked that very question, 18 per cent of children aged 5-11 answered "chicken".

This answer is not only factually incorrect but it is also illogical. A moment's thought reveals that chickens have a similar lack of fingers. However, we at TES would venture that many of the children have seen the film Chicken Run, which confuses the situation by featuring fowls who do have fingers and who use them to knit, write and assemble planes.

The BNF survey also found that one in five children had never visited a farm, so they have probably encountered few examples of ordinary, fingerless poultry.

Fish may be good for the brain but it is clear that fish fingers are messing with our children's minds. They must be moved from the freezer to the naughty step at once.

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