Healthier way to reduce food wastage in schools

Healthier way to reduce food wastage in schools
A student at Damai Primary places his empty plate into a pail. Food from the Heart is bringing the Clean Plate Campaign to five primary schools to encourage students to reduce food waste.

SINGAPORE - I appreciate the good intentions of the Clean Plate Campaign to reduce food wastage in schools ("Kids fight food wastage, one plate at a time"; last Saturday).

But pushing young children to finish every morsel of food on their plates goes against the advice of paediatricians to allow them to self-regulate by eating until they feel full, and no further.

Recognising one's personal point of satiety is key to developing the self-discipline to avoid obesity later in life.

Timid pupils might feel forced to overeat, or be afraid to discard food that may be spoilt.

A small-sized pupil who knows he cannot finish the usual portion might even be discouraged from buying food during recess.

Instead of using peer pressure and prizes to reduce food wastage, a healthier way would be to teach children to request a smaller portion at the point of purchase if they have small appetites or are not feeling particularly hungry.

Estella Young (Ms)

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