to think even Gove wouldn''t ban packed lunches

(433 Posts)
kim147 Fri 12-Jul-13 07:30:29

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23270715

Granted I have seen some crap packed lunches in some schools. But to ban packed lunches?

Unless they were considerably cheaper, I can't see how they can do this. And as a teacher, I don't want to police lunch boxes.

fluffyraggies Fri 12-Jul-13 07:35:01

YANBU.

Meals in our local primary are £2 a go and pretty grim.

I had 3 DCs in that school a few years ago. That would have been £30 per week for crap food!

I think not.

Jan49 Fri 12-Jul-13 07:36:56

I can't imagine packed lunches being banned.

But I am amazed at what some parents put in the packed lunch. In particular, the amount of food - sandwich, crisps, a cheese straw thing, yogurt, apple, drink, chocolate bar, all in the same lunch for one child. I doubt whether many parents would expect to have 6 items for a light lunch so why do their children need to? It seems far too much as well as not good food. I made a packed lunch for my ds for years and it was usually a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a drink.

musicposy Fri 12-Jul-13 07:38:56

Well when I was at school <dark ages alert> we weren't allowed to take in lunches. You either had school dinners (99%of pupils) or your parents took you home for lunch (a small handful). There were no facilities provided to eat lunch at school.
Not debating the right or wrongs here, just that it I guess it would be possible and the idea of packet lunches is a relatively recent (last 30 to 35 years) one.

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 07:39:32

Academies will be exempt, so either parents will vote with their feet or more primaries will become academies.
How will this affect children with a restricted diet?
Such as my Aspie DS who took exactly the same foodstuffs in his packed lunch every day for 5 years?
Who would either have had a meltdown, or refused to eat a school dinner between the ages of 5-13?

siblingrevelry Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:29

I've just seen this and I'm incensed. I'm usually a bit 'meh' and refuse to get het up but this is one issue that gets my goat.

I send packed lunches for two (I believe) very good reasons.

1) Cost. £2.10 a day, currently have two in school, will soon have three. I can do a packed lunch way for a fraction of that.

2) IMO school lunches aren't 'healthy'. Controversial, I realise, but even our approved catered lunches aren't what I would want my children to eat (and I speak with quite a good nutritional knowledge). Most dishes which are marketed as healthy and wholesome are loaded with cheese and I just feel generally the choices aren't good (on our menu we have 'fish fingers and tomato ketchup' listed as an option, as if tomato ketchup were a side dish or veg option!). They still contain much more processed food than I would be happy with.

I went to our school play last night and was horrified at the amount of overweight children in the school. As a former (and still fighting the flab!) fatty I feel so sorry for the kids who are having the battle so early on, I could see them shrinking to the back like I used to. I can;t say with any certainty that they all have school dinners, but it's clear that somewhere along the way they are being given unhealthy meals or too much food.

We need some sense from the powers that be. Instead of banning packed lunches because a few people insist on sending crap (how hard can it be: sandwich, fruit, drink, A N other option?)

echt Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:30

Banning packed lunches would force the purchase of foods supplied by the usual suspects, Compass, all of whom provide the current dreck served in English schools. The report recommending the banning of packed lunches was commissioned by Leon, a food company.

Nuff said.

BasilBabyEater Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:59

I don't see how they can do this either - if they do, there are going to be some very hungry kids around.

I've done a quick calculation. At my kids' school, school dinners are £2.90 a day. 2 kids, 5 days a week, 6 week terms = £174 a term, more in the 7 and 8 week terms in the Autumn.

That sum of money would be bloody crippling for me to find and it's an unnecessary luxury. It costs more than piano lessons, on which I would rather spend the money - long term, piano playing is a life skill and pleasure of more benefit than having had some nice school dinners.

Posh people who have no idea claim that there isn't much difference in price between that and packed lunches but as I said, if yr packed lunches are healthy, they have no idea. They also claim that if you can't afford them, free school meals are available, but they are only available if you are on certain benefits which most people aren't. I remember trying to claim free school meals when I was earning £8,000 p.a. had NHS exemptions etc. and tax credits - still no free school dinners, so kids had packed lunches.

It's only do-able if they provide free school dinners for everyone.

BasilBabyEater Fri 12-Jul-13 07:43:44

Really Echt?

The BBC didn't mention that.

Piss poor reporting there.

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 07:44:34

The food wastage with school dinners is very high in my school, around a third of children don't clear their plate of what is a small meal.

littlewhitebag Fri 12-Jul-13 07:46:22

My DD took a packed lunch to school every day containing almost the same thing as she was very fussy.

Then we moved her to a private school where they were provided with a hot lunch daily. Fast forward a few years and she now eats a vast range of food and will eat the lunch, even if she doesn't really like it because she is hungry.

I would say the majority of children would get used to having the school lunches and maybe expand what they already eat.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 07:46:29

I don't think it would be possible for packed lunches to be banned completely in many schools. Our school doesn't have a big enough servery or dining room to accommodate all children, and the majority have packed lunch. There would have to be a lot of money put into expanding the school if all children started having packed lunches, and I'm sure our school can't be the only one like this.

Most days, the school lunches are really good, but there are a few meals that look completely unappetising, usually pasta based ones.

ddubsgirl Fri 12-Jul-13 07:48:15

With 3 kids it would cost me over £30 a week vs £20 a week I pay for pack lunch stuff plus dh use to cook school dinners he walked out on the job as it was so bad and swore the kids would never eat school dinners again!! To force those already on the thin line will cause too much debt

LisaMed Fri 12-Jul-13 07:48:59

DS was on school lunches for the first two terms. I reasoned that he would have fresh food and lots of variety. However when he came home I always had to have a sandwich waiting for him as he was famished, really hungry. It wasn't treats he was after, but solid food, it was ridiculous.

After he tried to persuade his friend's mum to make a packed lunch (so he could sit with his friends) I caved and made him a packup. I do stuff it with a small sandwich, something fresh like cucumber sticks or a tomato or a satsuma and pack of raisins or similar and a lot of it comes home and he is never hungry like he used to be. The school lunch portions must have been mouse sized!

I will fight tooth and nail before he is stopped having a pack up as I don't agree with children being hungry as a regular thing. Not when it is just inadequate feeding when it doesn't have to be. DS will eat anything so it's not that he had been leaving stuff at school as he does with his lunch.

Anyway, speaking of which, I had better go and make ds's packup now.

minibmw2010 Fri 12-Jul-13 07:49:26

As may be littlewhitebag and that is a positive of course. But if parents can't afford it they can't afford it !!

5madthings Fri 12-Jul-13 07:49:52

Crap idea. Yanbu. My pack ups are healthy anywsy and with four kids at school.i can make pack ups for less cost that school dinners. School dinners are crap anyway and cake and custurd most days for pudding....really healthy...
They arr discusding this on r5 at the moment.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 12-Jul-13 07:50:54

the bbc mentioned it on radio 4 echt.

why should the few who pprovide healthy pcked lunches., have to have less healthy school dinners with no contriol over the options children choose. and he would choose the unhealthy option. I suspect the majority of packed lunches are about as healthy as school lunches and only a few are terrible.

they did say though that 2/3 hve crisps and 2/3 have confectionary. why not ban those?

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 07:53:06

LWB, there are a number of children who are fussy eaters and would eat a range of foods if they were properly hungry. Absolutely true.
There are children with sensory issues involving texture and taste and visual input that really wouldn't.
So if packed lunches were banned, I would have given DS breakfast, , gone to schoo, largel fruit-based snack for break. Then he'd have stared at the lunch without eating if you were lucky, and been collected at 3.30pm with a packed tea to eat ASAP and then dinner in the evening.
Expanding his diet has happened very slowly, fortunately puberty affected his sensory issues in a positive fashion and hit early at 12.

MegBusset Fri 12-Jul-13 07:55:02

It will be completely unworkable. DS1 has packed lunches because he's got multiple food allergies; at Christmas I tried for three weeks to get an ingredient list for their school Xmas lunch, without success - neither the school nor the external supplier could tell me what was in it. No way would I take chances with my son's health when they have no idea what's in their food.

manicinsomniac Fri 12-Jul-13 07:55:59

Packed lunches aren't allowed at my school. 400ish children all manage to eat, including my 10 year old who is an absolute nightmare with food and several children with severe allergies/intolerances to various things.

It works.

I don't see the need to ban packed lunches in all schools though, what's the point? Let schools do what suits them.

BasilBabyEater Fri 12-Jul-13 08:02:56

Are the lunches free, manicinsomniac?

manicinsomniac Fri 12-Jul-13 08:08:15

It's a private school so they'll be included in the fees.

echt Fri 12-Jul-13 08:16:42

The Guardian online has an article on this.I'm crap at links, but it's on the homepage.

Jinsei Fri 12-Jul-13 08:18:46

My dd used to have packed lunches and she enjoyed them on the whole, but I switched her to sandwiches because I didn't feel that she was getting a decent meal. She is pescatarian, so apart from fish fingers every now and then, she had the vegetarian option. There was a lot of processed fake "meat" which she didn't enjoy, and she ended up eating just the carbs and some vegetables every day - very little protein and lots of stodge. hmm

BasilBabyEater Fri 12-Jul-13 08:20:55

Right. So that's why it works.

It's not really relevant to the 93% of children who are educated in the state sector though. That's what the report is talking about - banning school dinners in state schools.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now