Parents shamed after sending kids to school with cold McDonald's for lunch

A headteacher has shamed a number of parents over their choice of packed lunches - including a couple who sent their child to school with a two-day-old McDonald's Happy Meal.

Byron Primary School in Gillingham, Kent, issued a scolding letter to parents after coming across a number of five to 11-year-olds tucking into "unacceptable" lunches.

This included one pupil found eating a chocolate cake, chocolate bar and chocolate sandwich.

Another was dropped off with just two bags of crisps, a crisp sandwich, while a further child was found carrying four yoghurts and a packet of smarties.

One youngster even arrived with a cold McDonald's Happy Meal - bought the previous day.

Some pupils came in with chocolate-heavy lunches Credit: SWNS

The school's berating letter comes as MPs push for more stringent Government action on tackling childhood obesity.

In a new report, the Commons Health Committee (CHC) said Downing Street's childhood obesity strategy, published last August, does not go far enough.

Byron Primary headteacher Jon Carthy sent out his letter to parents about pupils' "extreme" packed lunches last week.

He told parents: "In the past few weeks there have been a number of worrying packed lunches brought into school.

"Whilst extreme and funny to read on paper, I must make this clear THESE ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE examples of a balanced packed lunch.

"Children work very hard at school and a balanced meal at lunch time helps provide concentration for the afternoon."

He reminded parents of government guidelines for packed lunches, which recommend one portion of fruit and vegetable or salad every day, meat, fish or a source of non-dairy protein, oily fish and starchy foods such as bread or pasta.

Mr Carthy added: "If we feel as though any child is not getting a regularly balanced meal, we will contact you and offer you advice."

The letter cited some of the worst examples of pupils' packed lunches Credit: www.byron.medway.sch.uk

Parents at the school reacted with an element of shock to the contents of the letter.

One pupil's mother said: "Never thought I could be so appalled yet so amused at the same time."

She added: "I found it shocking more than anything that some parents think that's acceptable and it is clearly a reflection on their diets too."

In their latest report, the CHC called on the Government to clamp down on "deep discounting" of unhealthy foods by supermarkets in order to help tackle childhood obesity.

The report claimed the Government's current strategy is not far-reaching enough, while it also accused No 10 of ignoring a series of recommendations.

These included stronger controls on price promotions of unhealthy food and drinks.

CHC Chairwoman and Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Government has rejected a number of our recommendations.

"These omissions mean that the current plan misses important opportunities to tackle childhood obesity.

"Vague statements about seeing how the current plan turns out are inadequate to the seriousness and urgency of this major public health challenge."