Unhealthy food presented as 'healthier choice' in schools

What a timely move by the authorities to take a closer look at how the Healthier Choice label is being assigned to food (Healthier Choice label: Call for more clarity; Oct 9).

Earlier this year, I was surprised to hear that my seven-year-old daughter was buying dishes made with instant noodles in her school canteen.

I checked with the school to see if this was allowed and was told by the vice-principal that government schools were allowed to use ingredients labelled "Healthier Choice". The canteen's instant noodles were thus labelled.

She did not seem concerned that instant noodles are simply unhealthy, whether labelled "Healthier Choice" or not.

I told my daughter to avoid buying the dishes that contain instant noodles.

But this does not address the root of the problem, which is that unhealthy food is being sold in a school canteen and is being presented as a "healthier choice".

Since this experience, I have depended on my own knowledge and research when choosing food for myself and my family.

The "Healthier Choice" label has become meaningless to me, and to many others, I am sure.

Schools should also be reassessing what they consider healthy and appropriate for pupils.

Niazmeen Bibi Akram Khan (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline 'Unhealthy food presented as 'healthier choice' in schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe