To not want my child to have to eat outside in November?

(161 Posts)
Verycold Fri 30-Nov-12 22:32:57

Found out today that at my ds's junior school the children have repeatedly been made to eat their packed lunch outside, even after half term. They have a system where they only eat in classrooms if it's wet, otherwise they supposedly all eat in the hall and get called in bit by bit when there is room - or so we thought until it we found out otherwise today! Would this bother you? Not very comfortable to eat outside in the cold surely?

NamingOfParts Fri 30-Nov-12 23:08:40

I think the test is:

would the staff like to eat outside?

If the consensus of the staff is 'no' then the school has its answer.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 23:08:56

Our infant school has the children eating packed lunch outside still, unless it is wet. Even today when it was very cold.

The children don't seem to mind and they are all in, or should be in, appropriate coats, etc.

I have to admit that I did find it strange and as an adult I wouldn;t chose to eat outside at the moment - but the children genuinely don;t seem to be bothered.

We are a very outdoor type school though. We have outdoor play every day of the year regardless of rain, snow, etc. and we take the children outside for lesson time all year round too.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 23:10:35

It was about 2 degrees I think round here at lunch time - brr!

I don't do lunch times so no idea whether any children compain. They certainly don't in the classes I am in - and our children are definitely not the type to keep quiet if something is bugging them!

Notcontent Fri 30-Nov-12 23:11:03

Getting regular exercise and fresh air even when it's cold is good for your health.
Eating outside when it's cold is not particularly good for you and it's certainly not pleasant!! In fact it sounds a bit mad.
Eating outside is lovely when it's not cold.

juniper904 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:11:10

We have cold play, wet play etc. We once had fox play hmm after those twins were mauled by a fox. That was a little OTT.

ninah Fri 30-Nov-12 23:13:04

naming of parts I take it you don't work with children! I'm in a class where the outside area is open (in theory) all year round - the children love it, the adults take more persuading!

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 30-Nov-12 23:13:51

Personally wouldn't have wanted to eat outside today. It was very cold, too cold to be sitting down still. Quite different to running round the playground.

shockers Fri 30-Nov-12 23:15:47

I work in school. The heating is on full at the moment because of the cold snap, so I ate my lunch on a bench by the canal and I was healthier for it, I felt.

Schools aren't places of torture ( in my experience anyway!), today was glorious where we are and I chose to eat outside. The children didn't have that option, unfortunately, but they rushed out afterwards - as they always do!

shockers Fri 30-Nov-12 23:17:35

BTW, the canal was frozen... there were ducks skating grin.

FannyBazaar Fri 30-Nov-12 23:20:59

I wish my DS could eat outside. His school seems to have an unreasonable fear of cold, or rain or wind... Heating turned up full wack, not allowed out to play when it's wet then they suggest he shouldn't be wearing shorts.

Always eat outside was the rule when I was at school long ago and far away.

ravenAK Fri 30-Nov-12 23:27:19

The dining room will be highly unlikely to have enough seating for everyone, & classrooms shouldn't routinely be used for eating as they then stink of cheese'n'armpit crisps all afternoon.

Shouldn't be a problem if the kids are suitably equipped with coats etc. They won't be spending all lunch break lingering over their food, it'll be scoffed & then they'll be playing.

Much better for them to be outside than in a fuggy classroom.

NamingOfParts Fri 30-Nov-12 23:51:12

I think back to my DCs primary days (a few years ago now). Their school was in a fairly deprived area. For many the school was a safe haven. Making the children eat outside would just feel wrong.

CatchingMockingbirds Sat 01-Dec-12 00:05:55

I would have a problem with it, yes. At DS's school everyone all sits together, his previous school done the same too.

musicalendorphins Sat 01-Dec-12 07:55:08

Are they supervised? Not running around with food in their mouths?
I ask because a boy at ds's primary school was choking on some food, and the school custodian ran in and did the heimlich maneuver and saved him.

Fakebook Sat 01-Dec-12 08:28:47

No I wouldn't be happy. Unless they provided them all with hot chocolate.

I wouldn't think it's very pleasant eating outside at the moment. I wouldn't like it.

44SoStartingOver Sat 01-Dec-12 08:45:00

Fine as an option, not compulsory. They need a better system. And I am very ghung ho about outdoor play

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Sat 01-Dec-12 08:47:40

I wouldn't be particularly happy about this if it was cold enough to need gloves and hats and scarves - difficult and messy to pick up food with gloves on, harder to get it in your mouth with a scarf in the way.
Plus you get much colder sitting still eating (on cold damp benches?) than you would running around.
I wouldn't mind so much on a cold but sunny day, but on a cold damp dreary day it just sounds utterly miserable.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 08:49:15

I would alwqys rather my child ate outside than in an airless, hot, noisy dining hall. They get little enough outside time in the school day anyway.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 08:49:57

If it´s the child´s choice, fine.

If not, not OK.

I assume that the adults aren´t forced to eat outside if they don´t want to & I don´t see why the children should be either.

I would also assume that the dining hall is big enough so that at some point every child can eat lunch-be it a "school dinner" or a packed lunch!

That´s what happened at our school, anyway-all lunches were eaten in the dining hall!

I think when we were in the 5th form (as it was then) we were possibly allowed to eat packed lunch in the classroom.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 08:53:29

It can't be the child's choice, though. Partly because it would be a supervisory nightmare, partly because of squabbles amongst the kids about where they were going to eat today.

I bet the teachers do not sit outside with their lunches on their laps. This is horrible and YANBU.

Even if they are dressed warm they will get cold sat still eating. Different when they are running around playing but I would not allow my daughter to sit outside in October/November eating her lunch. Very strange idea.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sat 01-Dec-12 08:56:19

I wouldn't want DS eating outside here just now either.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 09:13:57

Hmm- could that possibly be because the teachers are adults? Just possibly?

TeddyBare Sat 01-Dec-12 09:19:03

I think the staff eating outside is irrelevant. There aren't many staff, they're adults who don't make a mess with food / need supervision and they probably want a break from our little darlings during their lunch break.
If the school haven't got anywhere for the dc to eat then there isn't much of an option. If they ate in the classroom and then had to waste the first 15 mins of afternoon school on cleaning up then there would be complaints too. It's not going to do them any harm, in fact the fresh air is probably good for them and it's fairly common practice in Sweden which is much colder. If you're worried your dc are cold then send them in with a coat and hat. I really dislike the increasing avoidance of the outside in the UK. It's no wonder people are unhealthy and have no respect for the environment if they consider going outside to be a chore which should be avoided as far as possible.

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