Parent weighed down by buy nine, eat one free hot-dog offer

We are a nation of fatties – and it is getting worse. It starts in the home and we need to educate our children or else we will raise another generation of obese people.

All of the above are familiar words we are all used to hearing, and for the most part I think people try and choose healthier options when they can.

As a mother of two teenagers I have always tried to teach them about healthy eating and making the right choices about food without being too strict.

In primary school this is easier to do as I think you have more control over their choices. But as they go into high school they have more freedom to choose by leaving the school at lunchtime and visiting chip shops, bakeries and the like.

Naively, I thought that perhaps if my child chooses to stay within the school at lunchtime then the meals would be, on the whole, nutritious and somewhat healthier than what is on offer down the street.

You can imagine my shock when my son brought home the “hot dog loyalty card” – if you have nine hot dogs, the 10th one is free! “More stamps more taste” is the slogan.

While I am impressed that Earlston High School is trying to help with the cost of school lunches with this promotion, I am shocked that it is openly promoting this deal to the kids.

The hot dogs in question are huge, and as a treat every so often will provide a filling lunch. To offer a stamp every time you get one is a step too far. Surely this will encourage the kids to choose this type of food over a healthier one.

They are also available at break times.

Why is there no such promotion on any of the healthier foods? If you want to encourage the children to eat a healthier menu then why not offer a similar promotion on a chicken sandwich?

In my experience children do not need any encouragement to eat hot dogs.

With promotions like this in schools, the government is fighting an even bigger battle.

Name and address withheld by request