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.

BasilBabyEater Fri 12-Jul-13 08:22:40

My DC's school has excellent school meals, but so what? We can't afford them.

wordfactory Fri 12-Jul-13 08:24:26

At DC's prep school there were no packed lunches.

Everyone sat down together and ate a hot lunch (always a choice).

Same at DD's secondary school (private).

Far more civilised, I think. And I wish they insisted upon it at DS school!

hackmum Fri 12-Jul-13 08:24:31

musicposy - I had packed lunches back in the 1970s, so 40 years ago...

I think it's a mad idea.

cornypony Fri 12-Jul-13 08:26:47

I agree with echt. It's an opportunity to make money. Children who bring packed lunches don't generate any income, no matter how small, but they still need supervision.
Education is becoming an industry and Gove is the force right behind it.

niceguy2 Fri 12-Jul-13 08:27:52

It's getting a bit silly. All these 'bans' from school. Who is the parent? School or the erm...parent?

I have three kids and it costs me over £100 a month for them all to have school dinners. Frankly it's killing us. In a previous relationship I had four kids in total and my ex didn't work. The cost was simply prohibitive. I get that £2 a day isn't a lot of money for a cooked meal to feed a child. But if you have more than one child then the costs shoot up.

The report author's can fuck off.

Goodwordguide Fri 12-Jul-13 08:30:09

School dinners are expensive because so few children have them (I think it's just under 50% on average) - if all children had them, the price would drastically reduce.

I'm not really for or against though and I think it would create an almighty fuss of which schools would bear the brunt when, quite frankly, they have better stuff to be getting on with.

My mother was a reception teacher for years and she banned packed lunches for her class (not sure how she was able to do this though!) as she said they were just too unhealthy and school lunches meant the children got at least one hot meal. Her children were practically all free school meals so cost was less of an issue.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 08:33:19

To all those saying "my dc has a healthy pack up". I don't think a sandwich, a piece of fruit and drink is a healthy meal. Unless you are doing gourmet fillings and unusual breads. The nutritional content of a cheese/ham sandwich on white bread is pretty shocking really.

niceguy2 Fri 12-Jul-13 08:33:39

One thing I do like about packed lunches is that I can see what my child has eaten or not.

With school dinners I have no clue but I suspect often the youngest eats very little. How's that healthy?

SillyTilly123 Fri 12-Jul-13 08:35:21

My dd's school already does not allow packed lunches. A few weeks ago they had pizza 3 times in 6 days! (my dd1 does not like pizza!) So after the holidays I am going to start bringing them home for lunch (after a few weeks to settle into their new class) I actually had a thread on here about it and some people said it wasn't good that my dds will miss out on lunch time play but i think their nutrition comes before socialising. (dd1 is sooo fussy and hardly eats anything, but will eat ham sandwich, jacket potatoes, plain pasta. Theres only jackets she can get at school and sometimes its with tuna-which she doesnt like)

Jinsei Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:10

To all those saying "my dc has a healthy pack up". I don't think a sandwich, a piece of fruit and drink is a healthy meal. Unless you are doing gourmet fillings and unusual breads. The nutritional content of a cheese/ham sandwich on white bread is pretty shocking really.

Who says packed lunches have to contain sandwiches? DD sometimes has sandwiches, but she also eats pasta, sushi, couscous, quinoa etc. She only has cheese around once a week, whereas in school dinners, cheese was about the only protein she was getting.

echt Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:19

I wonder how many schools have fully-functioning kitchens as they were back in the day at my school. I suspect most have been pared back to re-heat and reassemble previously-prepped foods, and couldn't take on cooking from scratch.

It all leads back to the suppliers. Follow the money, as they say on The Wire.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:20

I dont get the argument that forcing children to eat food they dont like rather than take in the food they do like is automatically a good thing.

Healthy eating is a good thing but just because a meal came out of the school kitchen rather than my kitchen doesnt make it healthy.

This is another of Gove's harking back to the 'good old days' when school was just better.

Problem is I would have been the same year as Gove, school wasnt better.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:32

Niceguy I don't know about your dc but overall far more dcs are overweight than malnourished (in the caloric sense) in the UK.

Bunnygotwhacked Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:45

My DC's school has excellent school meals, but so what? We can't afford them.
^^
This I have three children in the school at a cost i think of £2.00 per meal thats £6 per day £30 per week of course you have to pay this term wise so that's £360 I would have to find three times a year hang on ill just nip out back and grab some money off the tree shall I?
My older two would love hot dinners and I would love to be able to do it it would make my mornings loads easier but it isnt affordable make them free and watch me run to sign them up. My youngest however would not eat at lunch time to those who say if he is hungry enough he will eat it bollocks i've been trying that for the past 5 years hasnt worked yet. Also if he doesnt eat he turns into a little hulk you wouldnt like me when i'm angry This would be very disruptive for him and the class

TheCrackFox Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:49

The price would not drastically reduce if everyone had school dinners. That is simply not how capitalism works, they will have a monopoly and, if anything, the price will go up.

Britain is becoming a miserable place to be a parent - threats of fines, parents harassed if their child is off too long with a completely valid reason, the assumption that parents are idiots and can't be trusted to feed their children.

I thought the Tories were against the nanny state? If so why are they acting like a Mary Poppins on crack?

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 12-Jul-13 08:38:19

Total nonsense and you know full well that allergies won't be properly catered for (excuse the pun). I was a 'fussy eater' and still am to a great extent although I have improved slightly. A lot of it texture based. Certain things made me literally sick - even the smell of toasted cheese would make me heave (still does), don't ask me to eat it. I'd have starved if I couldn't have taken a packed lunch.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Fri 12-Jul-13 08:38:23

Unworkable nonsense.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 08:38:56

Jinsea your dds lunches sound brilliant. But that is not typical IME.

Exactly echt - not exactly an unbiased report!

It would be a struggle to afford for dd to have school dinner every day. Esp when she was in primary school when the food was absolutely awful - it would have been a waste because it was inedible and so much of the kids food ended up in the bin, with hungry children an hour or so later. Fortunately her secondary is much better and so if she has a long day we do pay for her to have a school dinner.

Katisha Fri 12-Jul-13 08:43:34

DSs have taken packed lunches ever since starting school - 13 and 11 now.

Leaving aside the issue of allergies (they have one to egg) I dont believe the school lunches are any "healthier". Sometimes we've tried them for a week and as mentioned upthread there is usually some sort of cake and custard for pudding. Why is that better than a kitkat? Why are chips better than a sandwich?

Also, I think the catering service fails to realise that most children are conservative eaters (cue cries of Oh my child loves salad) but mine are guaranteed not to want coleslaw or other medleys of raw veg, ratatouille, and similar mixed up recipes. Frankly I think they need to be simpler.

Finally, when they have tried school dinners, it seems to depend on which lunch sitting you are in as to whether you actually get any choice, or whether you get the advertised glass of milk or piece of fruit at all. "Oh they'd run out..." So I don't want to pay for a lucky dip.

Allthingspretty Fri 12-Jul-13 08:44:16

I am not a parent but I think it is disgusting for the gov to be considering overriding parental choice over packed lunches.

Jinsei Fri 12-Jul-13 08:47:58

Jinsea your dds lunches sound brilliant. But that is not typical IME.

Yes, I agree, but I wouldn't want dd to have to eat less healthy school lunches because other parents choose to give their kids crisps/chocolate etc.

Tanith Fri 12-Jul-13 08:58:34

DS attends a prep school (well, he's just left to go to senior school).

I agree - all school dinners and no packed lunches there
but
the quality is excellent. They have a fully equipped kitchen, a chef and they cook the meals from scratch.
Just how it should be.

By contrast, my DD is about to start state infant school. There is no kitchen and a catering company ships in the meals. I took one look at the advertising brochure and decided she was having packed lunch.
If even the professional food photographer can't make it look appetising, it must be pretty dire. How they justify the cost is beyond me.

My children have dietary restrictions for religious reasons. A packed lunch is a much easier way of ensuring they get a balanced meal especially when they are young. Our school is strict about unhealthy snacks anyway. I have food flasks so I can send in hot food in the winter.

niceguy2 Fri 12-Jul-13 09:03:49

but overall far more dcs are overweight than malnourished (in the caloric sense) in the UK.

I agree but the reasons are more complex than a shit packed lunch. I bet if you looked into those kids who are very overweight then you'd find a home life where crap/cheap preprepared food or takeaways feature very highly along with copious amounts of sugary/fizzy drinks. Also combined with a lack of exercise.

None of which a ban on packed lunches would address.

To be fair it doesn't sound like this is anywhere near a govt plan. Just another stupid report written by authors who are far from independent. It won't make it anywhere near govt policy. MP's might not be the sharpest knives in the drawer but they do smell a big vote loser when they see one.

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