Parents' anger at school juice ban

A PRIMARY school's decision to ban pupils from drinking pure fruit juice has been criticised as “ludicrous.”Kyson Primary School, Woodbridge, is standing by its ban, even though government health experts say juice could form part of the five portions of fruit a day required for healthy eating.

A PRIMARY school's decision to ban pupils from drinking pure fruit juice has been criticised as “ludicrous.”

Kyson Primary School, Woodbridge, is standing by its ban, even though government health experts say juice could form part of the five portions of fruit a day required for healthy eating.

It comes as the parents of 10-year-old Reuben Green were stunned when he was told he could not drink unsweetened apple juice at school.

Kyson primary said it had a “water-only policy” and that it had not received previous complaints from parents. At Kyson children can eat chocolate biscuits and crisps - but natural fruit juice is banned.

However, The School Food Trust, set up by the Government, has produced a guide to school food in which unsweetened fruit juice is allowed and new national standards for school food are being drawn up for the September term which permit pure juice.

Reuben has suffered from asthma since he was a baby and he recently started taking apple juice into school after his parents, Graham and Elizabeth Green, found that it helped his breathing.

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Mr Green, of Norman Close, Woodbridge, said: “We had found an article in which it said that apple juice was good for asthmatics and we have since found that his breathing is a lot better.

“So we said he should have it in his lunch box and, to stop any trouble about this, I sent a letter to the class teacher.

“Then we got a note from the teacher and he was told he was not to have the fruit juice.

“It seems a bit of a daft decision to us because we can understand that the school does not want people to have fizzy drinks or squashes, but this is pure juice.”

But a school spokesman said: “We have had a policy of the children drinking only water in school for many years.

“It is always included in our prospectus and we have had no complaints from anyone. It is a simple and easily managed system of giving the children drinks.

“We also fully support the five-a-day principle and indeed are part of the Government's fruit scheme. “Our children are encouraged to bring as much fruit as they wish and to eat only healthy snacks in morning break time.”

A county council spokesman said it was up to each school to work out their own drinks policy.

n. Do you think children should be allowed to drink fruit juice at school? Write to Your Letter, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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