ponge and custard, jam roly-poly and other traditional puddings have been banned in a London primary school because the sugar crash they cause makes pupils “excitable”.
Instead of hot desserts served to schoolchildren for generations, students at Scott Wilkie Primary in Newham are served fruit or yogurt with their lunches and a granola bar for their morning snack.
Director Keri Edge said the council has the second highest child obesity rate in London and schools should “think better” about the food and exercise they offer students.
Ms Edge, who also extended education by an hour a day to help children catch up after the lockdown, said the puddings made students tired and irritable.
“After you get out of school, in what other category of life do you have a high sugar pudding every day after lunch. The answer is nowhere,” she added.
“Newham has one of the highest levels of obese children in the country and we need to think more carefully about the amount and type of food and exercise we offer our children.
“Our children always sat down with their main meal and pudding and with their backs turned they ate the pudding before the main course.
“This has removed that problem and given children more time to play outside with their friends.
“Even as adults, when we have a heavy lunch, we are generally not good for too much in the afternoon. For children, it is even more pronounced.
“We found they were tired and irritable in the afternoon because they’d had the sweet pudding but then had a massive sugar crash.
“Of course this affects their education, their ability to learn and retain information, and their overall enjoyment of school.”
The move comes nearly two decades after Jamie Oliver reinvented school lunches across Britain.
The celebrity chef has made it his mission to ban turkey wizzlers and chicken nuggets and replace them with healthy alternatives.
Last year, Glasgow City Council also banned sugary puddings from its schools.
Ms Edge said some parents initially expressed concern about the plans but now support the scheme as child engagement has improved.
She added: “We have a very strong relationship with our parents and they rely on our expertise when it comes to raising their children.
“We have a very strong academic record, but we also care deeply about the well-being and well-being of our children.
“Eating sweet pudding every weekday just isn’t good for you, if you’re a kid or an adult.”