“Staff told him that if his son wanted sandwiches in future they must include lettuce or tomato.”
When little Jack Ormisher opened his packed lunch, he was delighted to find inside a cheese sandwich his mummy had made for him. But before he could tuck into the meal, staff at the nursery he attended snatched it away – leaving him in tears. Apparently, the sandwich broke their ‘healthy eating’ rules. Instead, the two-year-old was offered fruit and vegetables.
Later when Jack’s father arrived to pick him up from the Westfield Children’s Centre in Pemberton, near Wigan
Jack’s mother, Dorothy Gallear, 32, was so incensed she has now enrolled him at a different nursery. ‘I think it is absolutely pathetic and these people are playing Big Brother with people’s lives,’ she said yesterday. ‘The attitude of the nursery was ridiculous. They were looking down their noses at me. When I told people at his new nursery what had happened all over a cheese sandwich some laughed with shock and others were horrified.’
Mother-of-two Miss Gallear said Jack started at Westfield in September last year, spending three afternoons a week there but she decided to make him his own sandwiches after he developed several stomach bugs. ‘He was having what they prepared for him to eat. It was fruit mostly so I decided that I would prepare something for him at home to take in so I knew exactly what he was eating.
‘This was the first time I’d sent in my food. They said it was fine as long as it was a healthy snack. He did have some veg and a piece of melon in his box. But my partner went to pick him up and they told him that if we were going to bring sandwiches in it had to have at least a piece of lettuce on it.’
The nursery’s list of acceptable ‘healthy options’ includes various fruit and vegetables plus rice, pasta and potatoes. A spokesman for Wigan Council, which runs the nursery, said: ‘The centre has a list of recommended healthy food, according to national guidelines, which children are encouraged to eat. A cheese sandwich would not feature on the list.’
Miss Gallear and her partner, Harry Ormisher, transferred Jack to a nursery in nearby Orrell. Westfield’s manager, Aukje Clegg, said: ‘The decision to remove the child from the centre was taken by the parents. We have informed them that a place is still available for their child at Westfield should they reconsider.’