Monday, March 9, 2009

"Parent Power" network

I have long been of the opinion that there are lots of parents out there who are keen to stand up for better food for children. They may be a minority in the school playground or at the PTA meeting but together they could give a powerful alternative to prevailing views.

That's why The Children's Food Campaign is investigating setting up an online community of concerned parents who want to campaign for major improvements. I have been working on drawing up a "manifesto" so parents can identify if this community is for them.

I would really appreciate some feedback on this

(NB this is purely a rough draft for consultation. It has not been agreed by the Children's Food Campaign. This is something I am working on and is a work in progress!)

Please read and let me know what you think.

We want all children to have easy access to good quality food that is tasty, freshly prepared, nutritious and produced responsibly.

We want all schools to offer good food at lunchtime in pleasant surroundings conducive to civilised dining.

We believe that schools have a responsibility to provide real food education. That means cookery lessons, opportunities to grow food at schools and visits to farms and allotments. We want our children to understand where there food comes from.

We want local authorities to ensure that our communities aren't dominated by junk food joints. We want the places we know are used by children and young people such as swimming baths, cinemas and shopping centres to provide decent, reasonably priced alternatives to junk food. Free drinking water should be easily available at all leisure centres, parks and shopping centres.

We want our politicians to stand up to the food industry to protect children and young people from the barrage of food marketing that is aimed at them. We know that poor diet and obesity may be responsible for up to one third of all cancers, soaring diabetes rates and and increased heart disease so it is highly irresponsible to encourage young people and children to eat a diet high in saturated fats, high salt and sugar. We want to see regulations for proper food labelling and reformulations of worst offending products.

We know that we have no time to waste. We are facing a potential time bomb but if we act now we can secure a healthier future for all of our children.

I am going to take action by signing up now.

What do you think? Would you join a community that stood for this?