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Pupils get a raw deal - £5 for a sushi lunch box

PUBLISHED: 17:45 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 14:33 07 September 2010

RAW fish for school dinners may sound a little extravagant but sushi lunches could become reality for pupils at a Belsize Park primary. Staff and parents at the Village School, a private all girls primary on Parkhill Road, are regularly

Ben McPartland

RAW fish for school dinners may sound a little extravagant but sushi lunches could become reality for pupils at a Belsize Park primary.

Staff and parents at the Village School, a private all girls primary on Parkhill Road, are regularly treated to the Japanese delicacy during school events.

But after seeing pupils wolf down the remainders of one particular soiree the take away owner who provided the posh nosh is hoping to attract the younger clientele on a regular basis.

Matt Segal (pictured right), the owner of Sumsushi on Haverstock Hill, is hoping parents will ditch packed lunches in favour of his special kids box of sushi.

He said: "At one time everyone in Western Europe was told not to eat raw fish but five and six-year-olds are not told that anymore. 65-year-olds are not particularly into sushi but five-year-olds are. Sushi is very easy for them to eat.

"They don't need knives and forks - it is the perfect finger food. It is healthy food, ideal in lots of ways and for us it is a good way to get to the parents."

The Village school, which has around 130 girls aged four to 11 does not have on-site catering so currently all pupils bring packed lunches.

Mr Segal believes the sushi box, called the Sum Kids Menu, would be an attractive option for parents - even at £5 a pop.

If parents decide to go with his idea, pupils could be eating salmon, avocado, mango or tuna maki for school dinners once a week.

He said: "Sushi is a relatively costly product. We need to get fresh fish in and it is fairly labour intensive so it is not the cheapest packed lunch available.

"We would love for the idea to spread to other schools but at £5 we realise it is a luxurious packed lunch.

"Without wanting to sound like a Jamie Oliver type of character, we are a community business and this is a community project, this is not just a money making scheme."

Yesterday the Sumsushi owner set up stall at the school's uniform sale to try and tempt parents to sign up to the offer, which he believes would have benefits greater than the nutritional values.

He said: "It gets kids thinking on a multicultural level. Everyone knows pasta is from Italy etc and the wider variety of foods helps to broaden their horizons."

Deputy headteacher at the Village school Carol Gay said: "Some of the kids already bring sushi to school in their packed lunches. It is not terribly expensive and it is very healthy.

"Who knows whether the kids will got for it, we will just have to wait and see."

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk

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