For my children to not have two cooked dinners?

(219 Posts)
mrsnw Thu 05-Sep-13 16:51:29

So from next week my two, dd 4 and ds6, will be school dinners everyday. Am I being unreasonable to not cook them a dinner in the evening and just give them a sandwich or beans on toast?? What do others serve up?

SillyTilly123 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:02:42

My dds have a school dinner (no choice of a packed lunch-theyre not allowed) but I still clook a meal on a night. Firstly because they are usually starving, and secondly because I cook for me and dp so they have what we're having.

epic78 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:07:37

For little ones school dinners should be fine with sandwiches in the eve.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:22:11

I live in Herts too and think the cooked school meals on NHDC's contract are bloody awful. I don't know about further south. They really are just pre prepared, re-heated processed carbs and fat - there's little to no quality protein, usually a mix of processed sausages, pork patties (aka sausages), fish fingers, coated fish, etc etc. The picture menu bears no link to reality whenever I've been in school at lunchtimes. The chips no more than once a week issue? The potato product contract is with McCains for goodness sakes - it's chips once a week, potato cubes once a weeks, potato fritters once a week, nasty gluey mashed potato once a week. The free choice of salad, fruit and yoghurt that's mentioned on there? It's a facade. They can only choose salad if they haven't had veg, and yoghurt OR fruit only if they haven't had the listed pudding. It's one big con. A properly considered packed lunch or packed tea will be ten times more nutritious.

MrsSparkles Thu 05-Sep-13 18:24:50

I always used to have 2 cooked meals (mine are too little to be worried yet). I remember always feeling really sorry for the kids who went home and only had a sandwich.

I think if you're cooking anyway it's no problem to cook a meal for them.

digerd Thu 05-Sep-13 18:24:52

Just checked these 2
1. 440 g of spaghetti bolognese
36.5g protein, 57.6 carbs, calories 625.

1 cheese and ham sandwich, brown bread.
24.4g protein, 38.3g carbs, 440 calories.

I don't feel full up for long with the sandwich, plus cheese coleslaw, tomatoes and lettuce.
I do with the spaghetti bolonese.

I was always hungry as a child, more so than DB and Dsisgrin

RussianBlu Thu 05-Sep-13 18:29:06

school dinner isn't really what I would call a cooked dinner.

inneedofsomehelpplz Thu 05-Sep-13 18:32:52

yanbu - 2 cooked meals a day is too much.

complexnumber Thu 05-Sep-13 18:39:13

"But why is two cooked meals a day important, wuldric? Genuinely interested! I'm not suggesting dcs should only ever get sandwiches (!!) but equally really don't get this hot meals obsession."

I completely agree FatalFlowerGarden

I am quite happy to live on 'cold' meals. A meal does not have to be hot to count as a meal.

mrsnw Thu 05-Sep-13 18:45:09

Really sparkle?. The dinners are that bad? My son enjoys them. What does that say about my cooking grin

Awomansworth Thu 05-Sep-13 18:46:48

It all depends on the quality and size of your dc school meals really.

My two YR1's have school meals as dh and I eat late due to work. They go to a village school where meals are cooked fresh on site and we are given a 3 weekly rolling menu to chose from for the following term. I've seen the portion size and it's fine for them.

They have the following, which I wouldn't class as a cooked meal. Sandwiches, cucumber, toms, etc. Pizza and wedges, soup and rolls, beans on toast, poached eggs on toast, easy pasta and homemade sauce, hot dogs with good sausages.

I

choceyes Thu 05-Sep-13 18:56:38

DS in reception had his first school dinner today. I picked him up at 1pm (staggered start) and he was ravenously hungry. He had a cheese omlette and nut butter on wholemeal toast so an excellent start to the day. School dinner from what I could gather was mince with mashed potatoes and broccoli and some bread and a biscuit. Teacher said he ate everything.
When I left picked him up he ate a banana, lots of pistachios, apple and continued to eat all afternoon, another banana, bowl of chickpeas and some crisps.
Dinner was goat curry and rice with peas - he ate a normal about then some apricots.

He has a normal appetite usually and I've never seen him this hungry. I don't know if he' tired out cos of starting reception , but I really wonder about the quality and quantity of that school meal.
I'm considering sending him with a packed lunch.

There is nothing wrong with having 2 cooked meals a day. We regularly have 3 cooked meals and the whole family is slim.

wigglesrock Thu 05-Sep-13 18:58:35

Mine don't have a dinner dinner in the evenings if they have a school dinner. Never have done, infact dd1 in particular would have cold plates as her favourite.

They have cooked chicken, cheese, tuna, tomatoes, cucumber, crackers, toast, yogurt, apples instead. Not all of the above - whatever is handy.

Sometimes they have a boiled egg, beans on toast or porridge.

BonaDea Thu 05-Sep-13 18:58:51

Yanbu, depending on what the school serves up.

When I was little I has lunch at my grand parents' every day and they had their main meal at lunch time. In the evening mum and I would have a boiled egg, a salad or beans on toast etc.

Hasn't done me any harm...

diddl Thu 05-Sep-13 19:09:33

We almost always have a cold evening meal.

I cook at lunch for myself & the children

Husband has his main meal at work.

Then it's usually cobs/bread in the evening.

Anyone is welcome to cook themselves something if they want, of course.

There's always pasta/baked potato for a cheap meal that's more substantial than sandwiches.

fatlazymummy Thu 05-Sep-13 19:12:39

Bonadee that's how we ate until my Mum went out to work full time (when I was 8). Tea was usually sandwiches or cheese on toast. On Saturdaywe had 'high tea' which would be something like scrambled eggs on toast. No harm done here either.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 05-Sep-13 19:16:14

I dont like sandwiches or toast for tea either and certainly dont subscribe to just one hot meal a day.

School portions are small and i've seen the amount some children eat as nodbody is forced to eat it so most will be ready for a decent meal.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:34:03

Really look at the food menu leaflet, with an independent, critical head on. Analyse it in terms of nutrition, processed elements, sameness, portion size. Be aware that it is an advertising brochure designed to reel you in and make them money. Read the bit about who delivers the contracts. Think about how these companies can possibly provide a meal to thousands of children everyday - certainly not by cooking from fresh raw ingredients on site, daily. Have you been invited to school to try a meal? Have you seen the actual portion sizes they get? My reception child was not a big eater, trust me, and was the size of a child 12-18 months younger, but he used to come out of school crying with hunger some days. What I am actually saying is that regardless of whether it's cooked or not, your home produced meal, if constructed carefully, will be a million times better than a school lunch.

No I don't know where this idea of 2 cooked meals a day came from either fatlazymummy and BonaDea. It wasn't what people did when I was a child either. Hot school lunch(no sandwiches allowed) and cold tea in the evening. The meals were a lot worse then than they are now too (spam fritters anyone? Bleurgh) . Now they have menus that I would actually eat.

In DS's school the portions are quite large from what I have seen (I got invited to try the school lunches as a governor and the children hosting had plenty) although it admittedly it isn't very nice but that is down to the cook, not the ingredients or the menu. I see the fresh veg on the door step most morning as we go passed the kitchens to drop DS off at school.

I really don't think it makes much difference if food is hot or cold. It doesn't affect the nutritional value of it except that cooking food often destroys nutrients, so I can't see why 2 hot meals or even one are that important. I would quite happily go several days on cold food personally although DH doesn't consider it sufficient if he doesn't have a one hot meal a day. No idea why. confused

BsshBossh Thu 05-Sep-13 19:54:06

I'm confused by some of the naysayers here: if your DC has packed lunches and a hot meal at night then surely they are only getting one cooked meal a day. So it hardly matters which time of day that hot meal occurs.

The key issues, as I see it, are nutrition and how much lunch the DC is eating. If the child isn't eating much lunch (packed or cooked) or the cooked school lunch is nutritionally poor then it makes sense to provide a more substantial meal at night.

MummyPig24 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:42:57

Usually on a Friday ds has school dinner, I make the same for dd at home, fish fingers, chips and peas. And for tea tbh have a picnic tea, sandwiches or scrambled eggs. Something quick and easy. However if he has a school dinner in the week he still gets a cooked evening meal because I am cooking for everyone else anyway.

Snoot Fri 06-Sep-13 08:46:48

I think it's a gut instinct, nurturing thing and probably lovely if you've escaped it and the accompanying guilt! I'd feel awful if I didn't provide my family with a communal proper dinner in the evening. In hot weather a cold meal is fine but sadly lacking in comfort for most of the year. It's a food-as-love thing rather than a sensible consideration of nutrients provided.

My mum did this when we were children. We'd be given a little sandwich and then off to bed. Little did she know (or care, I suspect) that the hot school meals we had at school were disgusting, unhealthy and tiny in size.

We were rakes.

GhostsInSnow Fri 06-Sep-13 09:01:03

What will you have? If you and DH (I'm assuming a DH apologies if there isn't one) will have a hot meal why not sit the kids with you and have a family meal?
At 4 and 6 I preferred mine to sit at the table with us and have a family evening meal, though I appreciate thats not always possible.

ToysRLuv Fri 06-Sep-13 09:11:01

I never hardly ever had hot evening meals as a child (or now). We ate a range of fresh fruit, veg, dairy, meat and grains. Really don't see the issue here.

ToysRLuv Fri 06-Sep-13 09:11:40

I never was hungry either.

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