Prue Leith calls for free vegetarian school meals

Bake Off judge wants school lunch menus to include foods like lentils, 'Ottolenghi salads' and frittata

The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith wants schools to offer free vegetarian meals

Prue Leith is best known for discussing the finer points of cake-baking on Channel 4 'sThe Great British Bake Off and its spin-off show for children, Junior Bake Off.

Now the TV judge is calling for schools to restrict pupils' access to unhealthy food by banning packed lunches and offering free vegetarian meals instead.

According to today's Sunday Times, Ms Leith said the government should give all state school pupils free vegetarian meals twice a week.


Background: Bake Off judge calls for immediate packed lunch ban

Profile: Prue Leith grabs the baton and passes it along

General election: Labour manifesto will pledge to expand school meals


She repeated a call made earlier this year for schools to ban packed lunches, which often include cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks.

Schools 'should ban packed lunches'

This would cut obesity and help to save the planet, she told the Sunday Times.

"If the government was brave enough to say, 'This is a free lunch – everyone has to have a healthy, two-course meal, and no-one will be allowed to bring a packed lunch into school,' it would work wonders," she is quoted as saying.

Chefs in Schools, a charity that Ms Leith supports, makes vegetarian meals for schools on at least two days a week and she wants the scheme to be introduced more widely, according to the newspaper.

“I would absolutely like to see more schools going vegetarian,” she said. “I went to one vegetarian school lunch recently which was brilliant. We had shared dishes — salady stuff, lentils, dishes like  Ottolenghi salads [as created by chef Yotam Ottolenghi], eggy plates and frittata. The kids adored it.

“The problem with fussy eaters is parents who do not encourage them enough to try new things. Parents create fussy eaters.”

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