11/10/2013 08:08 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

A School Dinner Revolution

In the great sugar and kids debate, there are two schools of thought.

The first is that a bit of sugar is fine, kids burn it off, a little treat does them good. 'It gives them energy,' parents say. 'It's okay if they clean their teeth well.'

Second is that sugar is one of the most dangerous and toxic substances on the planet. It's more addictive than cocaine, it rots teeth and in its various forms and is the direct cause of innumerable modern day diseases.

Wherever you stand in the debate, it's one that affects us all; sugar and its various refined forms are added to many of the foods we consume, regardless of whether they're savoury or sweet. Many foods contain their own natural sugars, which are then topped up with more.

Tuna mayonnaise sandwich on the run today? It's in the cheap mayonnaise and added to the bread. The milky latte chaser already contains natural lactose, plus the cheeky gingerbread syrup you opted for because it's cold outside today. It's also in chocolate bar you grabbed 90 minutes later because your insulin dipped.

None of us are immune from the debate. Our political and economic decisions, and our taste buds, have quite literally shaped two increasingly large generations of young people. Autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, behavioural and learning issues - all have risen over 35 years in direct proportion to the amount of invisible sugar we consume in the form of convenience food.

While science - mostly funded by fast food companies and pharma - searches for reasons for these disorders (with the careful exclusion of sugar and its synthetic, processed equivalents) we keep consuming.

But somewhere amid the noise of junk food advertising, the lone voices are becoming a symphony.

There's a memory, maybe even a genetic one, of eggs and bacon for breakfast, of satiety after eating a home-cooked meal, of a world where food was pulled from the ground and cooked, not pulled off a shelf and popped in the microwave.

A real food movement, classless and full of momentum, is building in credibility, backed by flawless science, and its target - like the fake food industry - is our children. Children deserve a good start and the choice of a nutrient-rich, filling meal, it says. And it's happening in schools.

It goes beyond Jamie's School Dinners; this isn't a media opportunity and there's no money in it. Parents, and now individuals within schools, are waking up to the fact that caring for children means offering a sustainable, daily solution which appeals to teenagers while fulfilling a duty of care.

Exam results and Ofsted ratings will be as dependent on good school nutrition as good teaching during this decade, and it will be no coincidence that the best performing schools offer the best quality nutrition. The winners will be the next generation.