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To want DSS to eat his packed lunch

(52 Posts)
Lvcat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:03:09

DSS is 6 and is in y2 of KS1. He has extra behavioural needs and can be distracted very easily in class and will attention seek and tantrum.
We have been struggling with him to get him to eat his packed lunches. He does not have a great deal in there (only a wrap, some kind if cheese item an a banana/apple) as was recommended to us by our social worker. But he will still come home from school having only eaten half a wrap, saying he's starving.

AIBU to expect that there should be some level of supervision in the dining hall at school to make sure children are actually eating as this must affect his concentration/behaviour in the afternoons?

Euphemia Thu 07-Nov-13 09:10:18

What do you expect the staff to do, force it down his throat?

Have you asked them to encourage him to eat?

Preciousbane Thu 07-Nov-13 09:13:08

It's been a long time since I have been in a dinner hall and when I was at school you were forced to eat your dinners.

I think you should contact the school and inform them of the issue and not assume anything. Does he have any additional support in class?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 07-Nov-13 09:16:58

I think at lunch time the care switches over to the mid day supervisers, the teachers aren't present. There are only a few to the hundred/299 plus children and there are yogurts to take kids off, bars to unwrap, drinks to stab with the straw etc. There wil not be one free to stand by your child coaxing him im afraid.

Lvcat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:22:06

It is something we have mentioned to the school as we have bi-weekly CAF meetings with his class teacher and SENCO and they said they would look into it but nothing has changed.

We have tried the sitting down and explaining why you need to eat all your lunch and we talk about healthy diet and we even out little notes in this lunchbox to remind him but nothing seems to work.

When children have school dinners they are fully supervised the ensure they finish all their food (the school have told us this) but the same is not done with children who have packed lunches.
Putting him in school dinners is not an option as he used to have them but would come home telling us all he had eaten was potato of some kind (waffles, mashed, chips)

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 09:22:25

the staff can not make him eat they really can't you can mention it to them but what can they do if he has behaviour issues does he get support , if not then as i said they cant do anything and make him eat, when dds were in primary they made the children bring all the lunch box rubbish home and not bin it so parents could see what they are eating which sounds like it is happening here, can you make him half a bread sandwich and not a full wrap and his piece of fruit , so he doesnt feel over whelmed tbh children just want out to play at 6

mrsyattering Thu 07-Nov-13 09:22:49

My dd is now in P2, for the whole of her first year at school, she hardly ate a thing. Went and spoke to them regularly and had someone check she had eaten something. Even now she only eats at least half of the very little she has been given. She goes to school dinners now at least once a week, and on the days they are having something she likes. She seems to eat more on these days (so they tell me)
Definitely go and speak to them, there will be a dinner monitor who can encourage him

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 09:23:22

oh I see he has senco cal them again why is potao waffles a problem ?

Branleuse Thu 07-Nov-13 09:23:30

does he like what youre giving him?

My very fussy ds2 became a much better eater in general when put on school dinners

PatriciaHolm Thu 07-Nov-13 09:23:36

There's no harm asking nicely if someone can keep an eye out. At our primary, teachers are told if someone is having issues re. lunch and the supervisors (a teacher and TA as well as lunch supervisors) will keep a eye on them.

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 09:24:10

potato* I used to send one of mine for dinners once a week as she hardly ate a thing did seem to help her

Artandco Thu 07-Nov-13 09:24:44

Tbh if he really doesn't want to eat it they won't force it. However if he has assistance maybe they could encourage him.

Can you get him to have a good breakfast? And snack after?

Schools only 9-3 ish so I'm assuming he's just not that hungry in between if having good breakfast and snack after school. Maybe add some kind of milkshake or similar if worried about calories if he's small

Lvcat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:25:08

Mrsjay- he was having half bread sandwiches before and not eating any of it, so we switched to wraps.

Joysmum Thu 07-Nov-13 09:25:23

I don't advocate pushing a child to eat. I believe in 3 meals at regular times with fruit or veg as the only option between times.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 07-Nov-13 09:25:37

Some schools allow some of the additional need children to eat in a classroom or somewhere quiet as they can't cope with the noise etc. Does your school do this, could your Ds join then? There will be a staff member and fewer children and less distraction so that might work better?

Artandco Thu 07-Nov-13 09:26:08

Could you give him pototo salad if he likes potatoes?

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 09:27:15

oh was he so you have tried that, go back to the school and speak to them again I wonder they dont encourage packed lunch eating but they do school dinner eating, as you said they will encourage them to eat their hot lunch

MadeOfStarDust Thu 07-Nov-13 09:27:46

Depends how things are done at your school - I used to be a mid day supervisor - due to a complete lack of funding ours went down to 4 MDS for 400 kids.... 2 inside, 2 outside... with 2 sittings of 200 kids.... not a lot of "noticing" went on TBH ...

ShoeWhore Thu 07-Nov-13 09:28:25

Does he respond to rewards OP? Just wondered if you could set up some kind of rewards system based on how much he eats?

Lvcat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:30:54

Giles- that a good idea. I might ask them.

The school is very strict on what we can put in lunch boxes so milkshake would be a no go area. We once got a letter home from school, telling us off for sending him with a jam sandwich because we'd run out of ham.

School dinners at his school are quite a deal more expensive than making a packed lunch and we are just not eligible for free school dinners so we couldn't justify the money for him to just eat chips all week.

I guess it's probably just going to be an ongoing battle until he has a growth spurt and wants to eat I just worry because he's such a tiny little thing. Especially now it's eating cold.

ihearsounds Thu 07-Nov-13 09:31:15

Have you tried different foods other than bread based?

Lvcat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:32:21

*getting cold - have eating on the brain obviously hahaha

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 09:33:05

I am sure he had something more than chips he probably forgot what else he had you could try once a week or fortnight to have a school lunch,

Grennie Thu 07-Nov-13 09:33:10

At school dinners in my school, kids used to be made to eat their lunch. But the only way that was monitored was you took your plate up at the end, and if you had too much food on, you were sent back to finish it.

I can't see practically how any school has the number of staff needed to check if children with packed lunches have eaten their lunch.

I think all you can do is a reward system. Or could you give him a very cheap payg mobile and ring him yourself at lunchtime to encourage him to eat?

noblegiraffe Thu 07-Nov-13 09:33:13

Could you switch his lunch for something slightly more 'fun'? Thermos of soup, pasta salad made with character pasta, I dunno, something that might catch his attention?

How much of that lunch would he eat at home?

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