To think it's absolutely ridiculous that parents can't choose their own children's lunch?

(126 Posts)
annabanana84 Thu 26-Sep-13 08:37:30

I've read a few threads on here now where parents have been told they can't put chocolate/fizzy pop/whatever the fuck they want into their childrens lunchboxes. Am I alone in thinking this is absolutely absurd? Why on earth is the school taking away the parents choice? I remember once a week, as a treat, I would be sent with jam butties, a packet of crisps, a kit kat and a panda pop cherryade, and the school didn't bat an eyelid. Why do schools feel they have to do this, I wonder?

Davsmum Thu 26-Sep-13 11:01:49

If parents give their kids crisps & fizzy drinks etc because they whinge that everyone else has them ..then more fool the parents! Falling for that!!

woodsies1975 Thu 26-Sep-13 11:11:14

Having been into school at lunchtimes to observe (as a Governor) I was sad to see some of the kids' lunchboxes. After a bit of a push on them by the school office, I am pleased that most of them now are in receipt of free school meals and get a healthy balanced meal (in the main, sometimes things go wrong and the veg is served almost raw etc, but in the main it works). Previous posters are right, while lots of parents know what is healthy and filling for a lunchbox, some don't, and in these cases it's easier for schools to have a blanket approach to what's allowed and what's not. I do sometimes try and sneak a little treat in under the radar, like on my DD's birthday I put a pack of Hula Hoops in, and that was the day they did a "lunchbox audit" and my DD got a letter home, she was distraught. Hey ho!

OldSchoolMamma Thu 26-Sep-13 11:16:41

My DD is healthy and very sporty/outdoorsy. I hate the fact that people think they can tell me what to feed my own child. It's not my fault that some parents don't have a brain between them. Why should better parents be dictated too. Target the feckless, lazy parents - not the ones who actually give a shit and know the importance of variety and that too much of one thing is a bad thing.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 11:18:55

Target the feckless, lazy parents

How do you propose they do that?

BuskersCat Thu 26-Sep-13 11:21:25

I will stop giving DD cake at lunch, when they stop serving it in their dinners!

roundtable Thu 26-Sep-13 11:21:59

After having to wash out a child's lunchbox everyday as we discovered mouldy food in there - pre healthy schools, plus said child always had two sausages in there. Everyday. Nothing else. I think it's a necessary evil.

I won't go into the other interesting lunchbox choices that I've seen as it'll take too long but some parents have no clue about nutrition.

I overheard my mil saying to my two year old to stop asking for fruit, (he wanted another banana) have a packet of crisps if you're still hungry. She couldn't see anything wrong with what she'd said.

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 11:23:21

They can't just target one group of parents. How would they do it, and it wouldn't be fair.

It's only one meal a day, if you want your child to eat crap there's lots of other meals and loads more time in the day they can do it at home.

roundtable Thu 26-Sep-13 11:27:21

I think there's a big difference between homemade pudding with natural ingredients and shop bought pudding, full of added chemicals.

To me, school's puddings should be totally homemade, but some have a fair way to go yet.

OldSchoolMamma Thu 26-Sep-13 11:28:18

SoupDragon, Teachers could have a walk around at lunch time to see what lunches kids are actually eating, When you find an appalling lunch box - contact the parent. Make them understand their child's lunch is not acceptable = handle it from there.

That would probably be too much effort though - so lets punish ALL parents with lunchbox police to confiscate small items like the odd bar of chocolate and bag of crisps.

sonlypuppyfat Thu 26-Sep-13 11:31:32

I know that some children would only bring crap in if left to some parents, but I do object to being ruled by people I don't know who seemingly know best.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 11:32:39

When you find an appalling lunch box - contact the parent. Make them understand their child's lunch is not acceptable = handle it from there.

So how does that only target the feckless and lazy parents?

OldSchoolMamma Thu 26-Sep-13 11:34:13

Well there is usually a link between lunch boxes filled with shit and parents who don't give a shit.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 11:34:24

It "targets" anyone who has sent their child in with something deemed unacceptable. Rather like the current system.

Incidentally, DDs primary has no lunchbox rules.

roundtable Thu 26-Sep-13 11:38:24

It's very hard to reason with someone about their food choices if they see others are allowed to though. Sustained targeting could come across as bullish, causing the person you're trying to help to withdraw.

If it was as simple as just telling someone, then doctors would have solved the obesity crisis with a chat to their obese patients.

Yes, schools need to improve but many in this country have a strange relationship with food. There's a difference between eating to lose weight and eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

I've put on a lot of weight in my two close pregnancies as I had problems which made me immobile. I found myself looking at crash diets etc to sort it out, until I had I had a stern word with myself. Healthy eating is what I should be, and am doing but we get warped by advertising and the like.

sashh Thu 26-Sep-13 11:38:47

Why on earth is the school taking away the parents choice?

As has already been said some parents are thick.

Others just don't care.

Also think of the teachers, would you like to teach 30 7 year olds who have had nothing but carbs for lunch so they get an energy rush for 20 mins then crash.

I once looked after an 1 year old who was amazed that I could make mash, he didn't realise it was made from potatoes, he thought it only came in packets.

OldSchoolMamma Thu 26-Sep-13 11:38:59

I'm not talking about the odd chocolate bar or packet of crisps - I'm on about parents filling their kids lunch box with utter rubbish with no healthy stuff whatsoever. That's who the school should be "targeting"

SoupDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 11:39:27

Perhaps their children are sporty and outdoorsy and eat only healthy stuff at home.

ilovesooty Thu 26-Sep-13 11:39:36

The lunch break is not part of a teacher's working day so remarks about it being too much effort are inappropriate.
Anyone would think staff who have opted into lunch duty or SMT enjoy lunch box checks.

Tryharder Thu 26-Sep-13 11:41:29

LOL at the MIL not wanting her DGS to eat too much fruit. I'm guessing your MIL is a post war baby. My mother is exactly the same. Too much fruit is Bad according to my mum. It makes you go to the toilet too many times apparently.

choceyes Thu 26-Sep-13 11:43:33

DS's primary doesn't have any lunchbox rules either. He is moving to packed lunches from next week as I'm finding the school dinners are of dubious quality and is followed by cake and custard everyday.
I think I'd prefer if there were lunch box rules, as I don't want DS to think he is being deprived if he doesn't have chocolate with his lunch, like some other children.

lifeishunkydory Thu 26-Sep-13 11:48:38

I wouldn't mind the rules as much if the school dinners that are the alternative were not so poor in nutritional content, DC 2 an 3 frequently told me that they had chips, pizza, breaded fish/chicken. DS2 is a very "hungry" child, he eats a lot more than my other children but is not overweight. When I mentioned that he was still hungry after school dinners I was told that I did put rather a lot in his lunchbox (when he was on packed lunches) and that he should just get some more salad from the salad bar! Yes because salad is well known for being a high calorific, slow release food that will keep him sustained for the rest of the day confused. Needless to say we went back onto packed lunches quickly.

I am not sure if I do put a lot in their lunches but it is usually all eaten, today they went with a pot of strawberries and blue berries, a pot of sugar snaps and carrot stick, a pot of plain popcorn, a peanut butter (no aded sugar)wrap, a piece of homemade carrot and banana cake and a drink. I feel that this is an ok balance, I know there could be a bit more "tweeking" but I strongly beleive that young children who are not overweight and undertake a fair ammount of physical activity should have a diet that isnot only high in fibre and protien but also contains an adequate ammount of fat and have been very unimpressed with the information coming out of the school that suggests that I should use low fat dairy products and products laiden with atrificail sweetners instead.

TimeAgainForWellies Thu 26-Sep-13 12:00:42

I think that packed lunch is really good, Life. I am amazed you are allowed peanut butter though, as we have a total ban on it. But your lunch has plant proteins, carbs, vegetables, fruit and fat. All good stuff for growing children! Our school lunches are really good quality so I feel very happy buying them, but the desserts are always shop bought iced things which does bother me. The main part though is usually really fantastic- things like spicy chickpea and courgette fritters, and they do a really good fish pie every Friday.

I can see both sides tbh. I mean I send dd in with a home made muffin once a week and no ones ever said anything out school states no sweets no chocolate bars and no nuts and requests we don't give processed stuff and crisps to often. Quite frankly the whole list is patronising but that's because I wouldn't send half the stuff in anyway. What annoys me is that we can't send nuts for allergy reasons even though they are good for you, but the suggested alternatives for nut free bars are the really sugary Kellogg's cereal ones and things like fruit winders. Makes no sense when they ban sweets and chocolates and serves cakey puddings daily with the school meals.

But, what's sadder is that they feel the need to provide these lists and frequency requests cod it should be common sense but isn't sad

doorkeeper Thu 26-Sep-13 12:12:04

I've got no problem with a primary school making restrictions on what can be in the lunchboxes. What they eat affects their behaviour, and their learning. I don't want my kid's class disrupted in the afternoon by another kid whose packed lunch consisted solely of a coke, a tube of pringles and a mars bar.

Sparrowp Thu 26-Sep-13 12:17:24

We had cream cakes every day for morning break, and a sponge pudding at lunch!

But we also had an hours walk to school every morning.

That was in the 90's, not the 1950s by the way.

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