A primary school has angered parents after they banned SQUASH from children’s lunchboxes — for HEALTH reasons.
Youngsters at Carlton Central Infant School in Nottingham are only allowed to drink a choice of orange juice, milk or water.
But some parents claim their children are becoming dehydrated and going without a drink all day as they will only drink cordial squash.
Mums and dads have branded the school’s claims that the cordial drinks are unhealthy are “nonsense” as the orange juice allowed is loaded with sugar.
And they accused the school of double standards as they happily allow crisps and chocolate as well as serving up fattening sponge cakes, cookies and cream and custard desserts in the school canteen.
Mum-of-four Nikki Richardson, 32, says her four-year-old son Corbyn has been going thirsty while at school and has called for an end to the “barmy” restrictions.
But scrooge school bosses have refused to back down on the rules, insisting parents must get a note from a DOCTOR if they want their children to drink the cordials.
Mrs Richardson, who sends Corbyn to school with a no added-sugar three calorie Fruitshoot drink each day, said: “I was sending my son to school with cordial in his lunchbox and he was coming home with it at the end of the day.
“He was not being allowed to drink it.
“He was coming home thirsty. I asked the head teacher why and they said they weren’t allowing it on health grounds.
“But there is sugar in pure fruit juice, so I don’t accept that explanation. It’s also very acidic, which isn’t good for his teeth.
“There’s less calories in the cordial I am sending him to school with. There’s three calories in the one’s I buy and up to 115 calories in orange juice the school provides.
“Where is the logic in that?
“I don’t want him to drink milk in this hot weather as it’s not stored in the fridge and he doesn’t like water.
“My son won’t drink any of them, so what is he supposed to do? He is going thirsty and that is dangerous for his health.
“Ironically I asked about the chocolate and crisps in his lunchbox and they said ‘oh, that’s absolutely fine’.
“That’s even more unhealthy than a no-added sugar cordial drink and they serve up custard and cream and sponge cakes quite happily.
“It’s just double standards really.”
Full-time mum Nikki, who lives in Carlton, Notts., with husband Matthew, 33, a bus driver, is now starting a petition to get the ban dropped.
She added: “I’ve had so much support, all the other parents think it is ridiculous too.
“We just want common sense to prevail in the end, it’s just nonsense and completely barmy.”
Tiffany Antcliffe, whose five-year-old daughter Amber is also going without a drink all day, said: “She has been coming out of school saying she is very thirsty.
“She won’t drink water and I want her to have cordial.
“But they have said that if she goes into school with cordial she will have it taken off her.
“I keep sending her with cordial. I don’t believe it is that unhealthy.”
Another parent, who did not want to be named, said: “I know kids, including my own, are going without a drink because of this.
“The school should reconsider.
“They are children, they don’t understand that if they do not take in liquids they can become dehydrated and very ill.
“The school is preventing them from drinking something they will actually take in and is putting our children in real danger.”
Earlier this year, research by experts at Glasgow University revealed that drinking fruit juice, including pure orange juice, can be harmful.
They said a 250ml serving of orange juice contains 115 calories.
Carlton Central Infants said it was following county council guidelines.
Head teacher Anna Spencer added: “If parents don’t wish their child to bring in water for medical reasons, we have asked them to supply a doctor’s letter.
“The reason we introduced this policy is that although the majority of parents were sending their child in with water.
“Some children were bringing in sugar-laden fizzy or still drinks every day, which were having an adverse effect on their behaviour by the afternoons when some were becoming disruptive in class.
“Bringing in water also means that children can easily top up their bottles during the day, especially when the weather is warm, to keep them hydrated.”
The school which caters for 179 children aged between three and seven was rated as “Good” in all areas after an OFSTED inspection in 2012.
The report claimed that the school needed to “improve the effectiveness of leadership and management and quality of teaching.”
* In January this year Valence Primary School in Dagenham, Essex banned fruit juices from school lunchboxes due to their unhealthy calorie content.