The humble jam sandwich could soon join the list of children's forgotten food favourites if the latest survey of pupils' most popular lunchtime fayre is to be believed.

It seems that even amongst a nation of butty lovers, the jam sandwich and its once well loved variant jam and banana no longer pack a punch in the playground, with other fillings pushing their way into the average ten year old's affections. Spicy chicken, prawns in mayo and BLTs have all raced into the lunch box top ten, leaving the classic jam, bread and banana combo well off the pace.

Pizza & chips, unsurprisingly, tops the hot food charts, but curry, kebabs and pasta dishes have pushed more traditional choices further down the classroom culinary wish list.

Karen Rhodes, spokesperson for leading health food manufacturer Meridian, said that lack of taste in many modern jams was frequently cited by the junior gastronauts as one of the main reasons for the drop in popularity. "Most modern jams are around two thirds refined sugar, so it's not surprising that most children find them fairly bland. We're finding that kids these days are opting for fruit spreads, which are a healthier alternative and because they contain sugars derived from fruit it makes them naturally tastier.

The change in children's eating patterns over the past 10 years has been quite dramatic and we're finding that what was considered 'exotic and adventurous' in the late 1980's is now regarded as bland and flavourless today. These days we're taught very early to recognise more flavours in the food we eat. Baby foods now include lasagne and spaghetti bolognaise as part of their standard ranges, as oppose to the more traditional roast lamb meals, so it's not surprising that children are demanding more taste in the foods they eat ".

Survey Results

Kid's Top Ten Sandwich Fillings Kid's Top Ten Hot Foods
1. Ham and Cheese 1.Chips
2. Egg Mayonnaise 2. Pizza
3. Peanut Butter 3. Sausages/Hot Dogs
4.Pate 4. Spaghetti/Pasta
5.BLT 5. Burgers
6.Deli Wraps (all varieties) 6. Chilli and Tacos
7. Coronation Chicken 7. Kebabs
8.Prawns in Mayonnaise 8. Jacket Potatoes
9.Fish 9. Roast (any kind of meat)
10.Jam 10.Curry (with rice or chips)

For further press information contact: Emma James or Nathalie Bagnall, Communique Public Relations, Waterside, 2 Canal Street, Manchester. M1 3HE. Tel: 0161 242 5109/5125 Fax: 0161 237 7509/ 7525 E-mail: emma.james@communique-pr.co.uk / nathalie.bagnall@communique-pr.co.uk