Lesson 65. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men….

Lesson 65 on Healthy Eating

Sometimes you couldn’t make it up.

Owen’s school were working towards achieving a Healthy Eating award. It did cross my mind to wonder how Mrs Reception’s special cupboard fitted into the healthy eating agenda, but, as she was planning a project on food and nutrition with her class, I decided to wait and see.

The school had recruited two sponsors for their Healthy Eating endeavours – MacDonald’s and the local brewery.  MacDonald’s had offered a reward of a free meal for four pupils from whichever class achieved the most progress every week.  There was keen competition between the classes for this prize and the selection of the four class representatives was a process of such complexity as defies description.

We didn’t get free beer from the brewery. I think they just gave us money.

Part of the evidence we needed to justify our Healthy Eating award was Mrs Reception’s project. We were going to look at which foods were good for us and where they came from. After that we were going to make a display of all the healthy things we eat and everyone was going to bring in labels or packaging from home to put on a poster. We started off with vegetables.

Potatoes were the first stumbling block.  Mrs Reception began, like the good teacher she was, from her pupils’ own experience.  She enquired as to what we ate for our tea. There was a firm consensus within the class – “Chips!”

Encouragingly Mrs Reception prompted further thought on the matter. “And where do chips come from?”

Delighted by the simplicity of the question, a number of hands waved and one was selected.

“The shop!”

Nothing daunted Mrs Reception pursued the matter. “And where does the shop get the chips?”

A pause before one bright spark came up with a suggestion.

“Do they buy them from Macro, Miss?”

Mrs Reception was always well prepared.  She had brought a selection of vegetables in with her. She produced a potato. A demonstration was obviously necessary to explain the connection between potato and chip.

This, however, caused some distress to one member of the group. The potato was unwashed and covered with soil. Mrs Reception had been planning to use this as a clue to lead hopefully to a field and a farm. Stevie did not like the idea of her chips coming from such a nasty dirty source. She objected. She produced evidence to the contrary. She had seen the bags of chips in Iceland.

This was taking longer than anticipated. It would soon be milk and biscuits time. Mrs Reception decided to introduce the plan for collecting labels or packaging for our display.  It was greeted with enthusiasm.

The next day some early offerings appeared on her desk.  There was a Pot Noodle carton, a number of assorted sweet wrappers, an empty box of Mr Kipling bakewell tarts and a carefully washed label from Aldi sausages.

It was going to be a long haul.