Most Aussie kids would be used to having a ham sandwich or two in their lunch box each week, but now we’re being told the humble ham sanga should be ditched for healthier options.

And hasn’t it caused an uproar?!

It all started when Cancer Council flyers were reportedly included in school newsletters, encouraging kids to ‘ditch the ham sandwich’ from their lunch box.

ham sandwich lunch box

It prompted a swift backlash from pork producers, who labelled the move a ‘politically correct message’.

“Ham is actually a product which has been developed over the last 5,000 years and people have eaten it through the ages without any problems,” Bringelly Pork and Bacon owner David Bligh told News Corp.

“I think sometimes these politically correct messages can go a little bit too far and not be as practical as they should be.”

Even dad of seven, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet weighed in on the debate

“Didn’t Homer Simpson call the pig the amazing, wonderful animal?” he said. “And we all love pig. We all love ham, and pork and bacon, and I think it’s great for kids. I know with my kids, I start the week with ham and it kind of deteriorates over the course of the week, but the Cancer Council does a great job, but maybe they could sit this one out.”

It’s not the first time the Cancer Council has had ham sandwiches in its crosshairs, with the organisation pointing to a link between processed meats and an increased risk of cancer on its website.

“The Australian Dietary Guidelines also say these foods are ‘discretionary’, like cakes and biscuits, so should only be eaten sparingly. However, in NSW 10% of children eat processed meats daily and 50% eat them one to two times per week,” the Cancer Council explained in a press release.

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  • Its tough when school says you can’t have this or that and now the cancer council says you shouldn’t be having this very often… Not leaving much the kids can have…


  • I would have thought that ham would be one of the most mild processed meats available. Much less salt than bacon and less salt and preservative than salami and twiggies. Everything in moderation is definitely the way to go for most of us.


  • Moderation is always key, but it is hard to send the kids to school with food that you know will also return at the end of the day. I think it is easier to pick your battles, and make sure they have other healthy options in addition to the sandwich filling they prefer.


  • Moderation is key coupled with being active or exercise


  • Like all things, moderation is key!
    In warmer weather my kids will have jam sandwiches, but once it cools I start going cold meat and salad sandwiches or wraps. They don’t get it every day, mind, but jam isn’t exactly the healthiest of lunches to be having daily.
    Whilst I respect the cancer council (even in light of their recent recall of their sunscreen, which ironically can cause cancer) I think I will continue to do what I have always done!


  • My son is an adult now and makes his own sandwiches. He doesn’t always have sliced ham but he does have meat sandwiches every day that he goes to work. Not everyone can afford to cook a roast of some type to use as sliced meat. I do agree that everything should be eaten in moderation though.


  • We don’t have ham a lot here. It’s mainly salami cheese and lettuce


  • I believe in everything in moderation also.


  • One of the only things my 6 year old will eat on her Sandwich! It’s not everyday I alternate between 4 things so I will not be changing.i think everyone should leave parents alone with what they put on their kids lunch, we all do out best and know what they eat


  • I think that ham can be a healthy option for most families. Especially for fussy eaters. It can be a good source of protein. Everything in moderation.


  • Everything is moderation.


  • Whatever the child wishes to eat should be in the lunchbox!


  • I believe that all pork products are unclean and not fit for eating. Have you seen what a pig eats? They will literally eat anything- including human flesh! There is also the fact that their organs, etc. are very similar to ours and people who have been cannibals have actually said that human flesh tastes like pig meat- it really can’t be good for you and I stand by the Cancer Council on this one!


  • We gave up processed meats a few years ago and I was amazed at how much inflammation went out of my body. That being said, if you like it and it isn’t a problem for you then eat it. I have no particular leanings either way, I only know what works for us.


  • I’m not a massive ham lover, but I do still eat it and won’t be stopping. With all the Karen’s and complainers around, we wouldn’t do or say anything because of repercussions


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