Mum left outraged after school bans Penguin chocolate bars


A mum-of-three was left p-p-perplexed after her local primary slapped a lunchbox ban – on Penguin bars.

Mum left outraged after school bans Penguin chocolate bars

Parents are furious at a new healthy eating policy where all chocolate, crisps, biscuits – and even peanut butter – are confiscated from children’s packed lunches.

Mum Karen Dunne, 39, was stunned when her children Ryan, 11, and Alfie, six, were told off for having the popular Penguin bars.

She now puts a note in their lunchboxes every morning warning teachers not to interfere with their food.

Karen said teachers at Camps Hill Community Primary School in Stevenage, Herts., have ”no right” to tell parents how to feed their children.

”A couple of weeks ago the kids came back with a letter which said the school was changing its policy,” she said.

”We were told that all chocolate, crisps, biscuits and drinks would be confiscated from packed lunches and that the children would be provided with water.

”Even chocolate spread and peanut butter are banned.

”There was uproar at the school and a number of parents went to the head to complain that they hadn’t been consulted.

”Now children can take sugar-free fruit drinks to school and unhealthy items will be left with the child but they still won’t be allowed to eat it.

”But that’s not enough, we are still being told as parents what we can and can’t give our kids to eat. They have no right to do that.

”The teachers are looking in the children’s lunchboxes and picking items out – that’s what really angered me. It’s extremely unfair.”

Karen, who also has a 16-year-old son, usually makes up a packed lunch with a sandwich, biscuit bar, packet of crisps or a yoghurt and a fruit drink.

However, in January Camps Hill Primary School headteacher Clare McFlynn introduced a new healthy eating policy.

Mum left outraged after school bans Penguin chocolate bars

The new rules ban youngsters from chocolate bars, biscuits, crisps and sweet drinks from Monday to Thursday, while Friday is permitted.

If a child is found to have a banned item it is confiscated before being returned in the lunchbox at the end of the day.

The ban comes just one day after it emerged three-year-old children who eat junk food are likely to have a lower IQ by the age of eight-and-a-half.

Karen added: ”There are a lot of angry parents at the school and a lot of the younger children are scared to eat anything for fear of being told off.

”Everyday they have a pudding on the school dinner menu. Try telling a five-year-old that the boy next to them can have chocolate pudding but they can’t have a chocolate bar.

”They’ve got no right to tell parents how to feed their children.

”If there is an issue with a child’s behaviour because of food than they should deal with them individually, not take it out on the whole school.”

Headteacher Clare McFlynn claims that the majority of parents support the school’s efforts to promote healthy eating.

She said: ”Camps Hill School has healthy eating status and as part of our whole school approach we encourage children to have healthy and nutritious mid-day meal, including those who bring packed lunches from home.

”We promote every day as a healthy eating day, although on Friday crisps and chocolate are permitted.

”We are delighted with the overwhelming support we have had from parents in promoting the benefits of good eating habits as part of a healthy lifestyle which also encourages good concentration and learning in the school.”

New legislation to strip Ofsted of powers to inspect lunchboxes and other ”peripheral” issues was announced by education secretary Michael Gove on January 27 .

Under measures contained in the Education Bill Ofsted will judge schools on four key areas only – quality of teaching, leadership, pupils’ behaviour and achievement.


  1. just coz fat kidz parents cant control there kid eating habits they take it out on everyone what’s the point we are not even allowed any chocolate but its ok for the school dinners to have cholclate puddings and chocolate custard

  2. peanut butter is good for you, high in protein, and vitamins… and various other stuff.

    In fact hugh fearnley whittingstall has a lot of it, in his recipies especially those of which are supposed to be endorsed by schools. 😛

    me, i had chocolate bars at school… and high school.. had a 28 inch waist at 18 and gained a couple of inches at univeristy.. the problem of course happened after i STOPPED going to school/university and started working.

    Sitting down at the computer, having no time for exercise at the weekend…. work stress.. yadda yadda. I didn’t get fat, but i did gain weight. I’m average, for my height and age. Still looking to lose a couple of lbs though. (isn’t everyone)

  3. I have looked in various places but I can’t find either guidelines or legislation banning chocolate spread. 
    Is this another urban myth or can someone tell me where these rules are written?

  4. I have looked in various places but I can’t find either guidelines or legislation banning chocolate spread. 
    Is this another urban myth or can someone tell me where these rules are written?

  5. Look at your child, you shouldn’t be feeding him chocolate bars in the first place. Peanut butter is extremely high in fat, and the amount of protein does not compensate this fact. The UK is facing an obesity epidemic, costing the taxpayer £4.2 billion per year. I applaud schools who are doing something about it. For many children, lunch is the one meal per day which isn’t contributing to their health problems. Just because your child isn’t fat, doesn’t mean his insides aren’t full of cholesterol, ‘thin’ people have heart attacks too, you know! The thing is, parents who know about nutrition and actually care enough about their children’s welfare to feed them properly, will not have a problem with providing a healthy packed lunch. Its the ignorant, convenience-food lovers which worry me. Get an education = Save your children!! 

  6. ummm while I don’t condone schools telling parents what their kids can or cannot eat that kid in the photo is extremely obese. In my days at school I didn’t see anyone that fat. I feel sorry for him and his younger brother who are not at fault. If your fat at this young age it will be extremely difficult to fix the problem at a later age as your body will accustomed to the large fatty cells. Proper education in nutrition for the kids and parents would go a long way.

  7. And we finally hit the problem, Education!!! You tell someone they cant do something they are going to go right ahead and do it.

    This country is starting to turn into a dictatorship, freedom of speech.

    My children have 3 square meals a day although scientists have proven that our bodies do not react properly to this regime.

    My daughters eat a varied diet and the majority of most parents feed their children properly with the budget set before them.

    When you are told that chocolate, biscuits and crisps are banned from packed lunches yet every single day the puddings at school are giant cookies and chocolate puddings, you have to wonder whether the government think we are a bunch of morons unable to pick out healthy treats for our kids and dictate to us what we can and can not eat with no explanation as to why they can serve up these banned substances and we can not.

    As for teachers going through my daughters bag at school. I think this is not only illegal but also an insult. I wonder if we searched their bags in the morning or had a look what they brought in for lunch whether they would feel slightly affronted.

    I plan on a little meeting with the Head of the school and put this hypocrisy to bed once and for all.


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