Christmas lunches 'without sprouts'
Around 40,000 school Christmas lunches have been served up this month without a single sprout in sight.
The traditional festive fare was left off menus in one county because children refused to eat them last year.
Instead, pupils at 248 schools in Leicestershire were served roasted parsnips with turkey, pigs in blankets, glazed carrots, minted peas, roasted and new potatoes and stuffing.
Wendy Philp, from Leicestershire County Council's School Food Support Service, said: "The reason we took sprouts off the menu was because too many plates were coming back with them on it.
"We decided to make a change and offer roasted parsnips instead. They've got a nice sweet taste and the kids seem to like it."
A record 42,000 Christmas lunches were ordered in Leicestershire this year, 4,000 more than last year when sprouts were on the menu, but there was no evidence to suggest it was because of the missing sprouts, according to Ms Philp.
"It's hard to say if that's the reason why. It's probably because schools have been so pleased with the quality of the lunches that the numbers have gone up."
And while the traditional sprout did not make an appearance this year, the traditional full stomach did.
If the pupils still had room for dessert, they could choose from homemade Christmas pudding, mandarin jelly or Yuletide chocolate brownie.