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Graham: Putting nutrition into school dinners

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I want to focus your attention on a survey conducted earlier this year on the cost of school meals. The cost varies from 40p in the city of Cardiff to 69p in Powys.

In anybody's judgment, those are modest sums. One pays tribute to those who prepare and serve these meals, but I direct you to Professor Morgan's remarks. He said that Carmarthenshire, which you rightly praise, is an island of excellence in a sea of mediocrity. He goes on to say,

'We are talking a lot in Wales, doing some worthy initiatives, but we are not putting new money into the school meals service and we are not committing ourselves to new nutrient-based food standards.'

Will you also consider the views of the Secondary Heads Association? It has questioned whether a ban on sweets and sugary drinks is practical, as children would continue to consume these items by buying them outside school.

The National Association of Head Teachers in Wales has asked for an examination of any income received by schools from vending machines.

It is also worth noting that the British Heart Foundation published research earlier this month that highlighted that one in three children do not know that the main ingredient of chips is potato.

I ask you to look again at the curriculum. As the children's commissioner has suggested, it is wise to communicate with children, to give them an understanding of what they are eating, and they will probably then choose the better alternative. Banning foods or telling children not to eat them is not enough.

We must engage children so that they understand why certain foods are not as healthy as others. We need a whole-school approach, promoting a wider understanding of nutrition and the real benefit and potential harm of certain foods."

"Yr wyf am hoelio eich sylw ar arolwg a gynhaliwyd yn gynharach eleni o gost prydau ysgol. Mae'r gost yn amrywio o 40c yn ninas Caerdydd i 69c ym Mhowys. Mae'n siwr y cytunwch fod y rheini yn symiau cymharol fach.

Rhaid canmol y rhai sy'n paratoi ac yn gweini'r prydau hyn, ond fe'ch cyfeiriaf at sylwadau yr Athro Morgan. Dywedodd fod sir Gaerfyrddin, a ganmolwch yn gwbl haeddiannol, yn ynys o ragoriaeth mewn môr o gyffredinedd. Â yn ei flaen i ddweud,

Yr ydym yn trafod llawer yng Nghymru, yn cynnal rhai mentrau teilwng, ond nid ydym yn rhoi arian newydd i'r gwasanaeth prydau ysgol ac nid ydym yn ymrwymo i safonau bwyd newydd sy'n seiliedig ar faetholion.

A ystyriwch hefyd farn Cymdeithas y Prifathrawon Uwchradd? Cwestiynodd pa un a yw gwahardd melysion a diodydd siwgr yn ymarferol, gan y byddai plant yn parhau i fwyta ac yfed yr eitemau hyn drwy eu prynu y tu allan i'r ysgol.

Mae Cymdeithas Genedlaethol y Prifathrawon yng Nghymru wedi gofyn am archwiliad o unrhyw incwm a dderbynnir gan ysgolion o beiriannau gwerthu. Mae'n werth nodi hefyd i Sefydliad Prydeinig y Galon gyhoeddi ymchwil yn gynharach y mis hwn a amlygodd nad yw un o bob tri o blant yn gwybod mai tatws yw prif gynhwysyn sglodion.

Gofynnaf ichi ystyried y cwricwlwm unwaith yn rhagor. Fel yr awgrymodd y comisiynydd plant, mae'n ddoeth cyfathrebu â phlant, i roi gwybodaeth iddynt am yr hyn y maent yn ei fwyta, a byddant wedyn, yn debygol o ddewis y dewis amgen gwell.

Nid yw gwahardd bwydydd neu ddweud wrth blant am beidio â'u bwyta yn ddigon. Rhaid inni ymgysylltu â phlant er mwyn iddynt ddeall pam nad yw bwydydd penodol mor iach ag eraill. Mae angen ymagwedd ysgol gyfan arnom, sy'n hyrwyddo dealltwriaeth ehangach o faeth a budd gwirioneddol a niwed posibl bwydydd penodol."

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