Family First is welcoming the decision by the Minister of Education to relieve schools from being ‘food police’ and dictating what can and can’t be sold in school canteens.
“Research demonstrates that parents are still the gatekeepers of the family food supply and that parents act as important role models for children’s eating behaviours,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “We must understand that parental attitudes and actions are a key contributor to the obesity epidemic in NZ.”
“For the Minister to transfer the responsibility back to parents is a welcome policy and shows that ‘nanny state’ may be on her last legs.”
“The ultimate way to promote healthy eating and exercise and sleep patterns is via parents. If parents believe in the benefits of healthy food, and are prepared to overcome factors such as cost, time in preparation, pressure from children, and lack of convenience, we will start to see progress,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Schools can help by providing healthy alternatives, but what children can’t get at school, they will simply buy down the road at the local dairy or bakery, or eat outside of school hours and at home.”
“It is time we tackle the serious issue of our obesity epidemic by working with families – rather than expecting schools to pick up yet another parenting responsibility.”
“Parental authority, and example, will be the best place to start towards a solution.”