Leading Article: More confit, please

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"MORE CHIPS, please." We will be hearing less of that familiar cry if Nanny Labour gets her familiar way. Yesterday a House of Commons committee criticised the Government's intention to restrict the number of chips and beans the nation's children can expect on their school dinner plates. In accordance with the draft regulations on meal standards, due to come into force next September, children may be served chips and beans only three times a week. Labour's big idea here is that the content of the regulations should be "food-based" rather than "science-based", so as not to bother the pretty heads of the nation's dinner ladies and caterers with the counting of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and the rest.

Well, we find those lists of nutritional elements pretty daunting, too, but surely the Government could be more Third Way-ish when it comes to dictating what they are calling "ingredients for success". In the familiar phrase, we are what we eat, so let's not stop with chips and beans. Drop that boring steak and kidney pie; our schools should be serving duck confit with polenta. Away with semolina and rice pudding; replace them with tiramisu and candied fruits. How else are we to prepare the nation's youth for its European future?