"Only 1% of kids packed lunches healthy" says BBC breakfast news - surely this can't be true?

(237 Posts)
Littleknight Tue 12-Jan-10 10:41:15

Just saw an article on BBC breakfast news that only 1% of children have healthy packed lunches. I can't believe this - surely it's more.
Come MN's lets set the record straight!

gorionine Tue 12-Jan-10 10:42:50

Are you after lunch box content, OP?

Katz Tue 12-Jan-10 10:45:18

well today lunch boxes contained:

DD1 - Tomato Soup, Bread Roll, 2 plums and a frube yogurt, carton of apple juice.

DD2 - tub of humus, pitta pocket, cucumber and pepper pieces, olives, frube yougurt and a carton of pineapple juice.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 10:48:23

I just saw this on BBC website and was going to start a thread! I clicked through to the suggested lunchbox ideas and was a little [shocl] to say the least.

BBC item

suggested lunchbox menus

well i feel it's unlikely that anyone has managed to check the lunch box of every single child in the country, so i'd hazard a guess at untrue!

i am sure plenty are lacking, however I think it's up to parents what they feed their kids. a lunch box makes up one meal, so who cares? they could be eatingfabulously at breakfast and dinner time so it doesn't really matter.

fwiw however, ds1's lunch box today contains
cheese sandwich
mini cheddars
an orange

BooHooMonkey Tue 12-Jan-10 10:48:58

I saw this article too and thought it seemed a bit off.DS went to school today with -
Sandwich (Tuna salad on granary)
Red Pepper sticks
Apple juice

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 10:52:20

WTF is wrong with a sandwich?

In our house we have lots of veg with big homecooked supper - I'm sure it's the same in a lot of houses.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 12-Jan-10 10:52:52

It depends what they define as a healthy lunchbox though.

I'm starting to feel that "they" are not going to be happy until every lunch box is 100% sugar-free, salt-free, completely additive and preservative-free, fat-free, 100% organic.....

Raw organic carrot sticks then wink

thedollshouse Tue 12-Jan-10 10:53:15

In the nursery where I work I would say that around 80% of the packed lunches are healthy. Even the unhealthy ones aren't that bad.

SofaQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 10:54:38

I was shocked by this result.

Grilled chicken bites with barbeque sauce
red pepper strips
apple slices

Would never dream of putting crisps, biscuits, or chocolate in his lunchbox.

bibbitybobbitysantahat Tue 12-Jan-10 10:55:21

Mine had pitta with pesto-topped hummus, carrot sticks (organic, natch wink), mini babybel cheese, satsuma, carton of pineapple juice, frube.

SofaQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 10:55:51

Nothing is wrong with a sandwich, except that DS got bored of them after eating them every day for 6 months.

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 10:56:06

Those suggested lunchboxes are MAD

what child would eat "sliced roast beef with an onion and avocado salad" ?

It would also surely leave you STARVING HUNGRY?

Whoever wrote that does NOT have children

bibbitybobbitysantahat Tue 12-Jan-10 10:56:19

Didn't you give your ds any carbs Sofa?

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 10:58:30

See attached menu ideas.

Includes things like

Homemade brown rice salad with mango, peppers & mixed salad beans
Homemade sausage & broccoli
pasta salad
Falafela & hummous pitta bread with tomato, onion & avocado salad.

So hop to it ladies. We need homecooked lunches all round.

A cheese sandwich with a handful of cherry tomatoes and a banana is simply not good enough. It's got to be hand crafted 3 bean salads all round. Irrespective of whether your child will eat 3 bean salads or not wink

Plus better all jack in the jobs in order to have the time to make all teh 3 bean salads and falafels in addition to the other meals and running the home.

(The menus don't show mention seasonality or food miles? An oversight I'm sure)

NoBiggy Tue 12-Jan-10 10:58:46

DD has crisps or biscuit once a week, on a Friday. It was the school's suggestion to save it for one day. If she fancies a school lunch she has one. And even if they call it "chipped potatoes" it's still chips. Followed by a cake, quite often.

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 10:58:48

sofa that is a small plate of salad - does he not get hungry?

HuwEdwards Tue 12-Jan-10 10:58:51

My 2 have packed lunches twice a week - they'd love more but I hate doing them.

They usually have

a brown roll (ham, turkey, cheese or tuna)
fruit juice
chocolate bar.

They always eat the lot

I love cooking and they eat wonderfully at home. I will not be bullied into someone else's version of a healthy lunch box.

I was going to say that the suggested lunch boxes were actually rather reasonable grin!

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 10:59:33

Hmmm perhaps that ad should say


AvengingGerbil Tue 12-Jan-10 11:00:06

I get so cross about this. Prue Leith was on the Today programme telling us that parents welcome schools dictating what can be put in lunchboxes.

But my child developed quite serious food phobias after being constantly told at school about 'healthy eating' - ie anything with calories bad, fruit always good.

IF schools actually understood that healthy eating for six year olds is not the same as the dietary fads of the twenty-something young women who made up most of the teachers my child had, then there might be some point in it. But when said 6 yr old is told that a piece of cheddar cheese and a cream cracker is 'not a healthy snack' (because it was not a sugar-laden piece of fruit) and consequently refused to take one at all, I lose patience.

havoc Tue 12-Jan-10 11:00:55

We have the lunch box police at DD school, so thanks to them I am confident that I (finally) give her a healthy lunch!

thedollshouse Tue 12-Jan-10 11:01:50

Yeah I can just picture myself chopping up an onion and avocado salad first thing in the morning. hmm

Those menus are all very well but unless you have 6 children or loads of money to waste they are still going to be having Monday's suggested choice on Thursday. Nobody has enough money to provide such variety on a daily basis.

I have just switched ds back to school meals as providing packed lunches is a pain in the backside and you have to send them in with the same thing if you don't want to waste food. The downside to school dinners is the cost I am just about to write a cheque out for £60 for this half terms meals, would be affordable if they would accept the money on a weekly basis but they won't and it is really hard to find that amount of money every 6 weeks.

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:01:51

dd1 turns her nose up in disgust at anything that isn't a sandwich

she'd have a ham and cheese butty for every meal if i'd let her

as it is, she has a sandwich, a yogurt, some cheese, raisins, a piece of fruit

very occasionally, less than once a week, she might get a packet of crisps if the contents of the fruit bowl are looking a bit brown sparse

she does eat some sweets, chocolate and so forth but not for lunch, at school or otherwise

brown rice salad with mango? hahahahahaha

I am sure DS's is unhealthy.

Ham sandwich
Carton of orange juice
Mini cheddars
Satsuma (which I know he won't eat but at least I try smile)
Thing like cheese string but different make
Chocolate biscuit

Sometimes they are better, sometimes they are worse.

Sometimes he has school dinners, which often have some sort of chocolate based pudding, so I don't feel bad about the chocolate. Might put in some red pepper tomorrow though.

l39 Tue 12-Jan-10 11:02:30

My children would not eat their suggested menus - even though they love vegetables and eat pretty well - and I'm shocked they seem to think 16 to 30 minutes is a reasonable time to spend making a packed lunch! Has the person who made up these menus ever tried to get 2 or 3 children ready for school while breastfeeding a baby? Half an hour a lunch is ludicrous.

EdgarAllenSnow Tue 12-Jan-10 11:02:45

i used to get 3* cheese 1* jam sandwich, all on wholemeal bread. as this includes jam, it wouldn't pass, would it? sometimes with eg satsuma.

though i think, it was far from loaded with sugar/fat (mum v. mean with the jam knife) and filling.

i thnk they are setting a daft standard, and - Lo! No one meets it...

as school 'healthy' cooked dinners often include a pudding, they wouldn't pass either...

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 11:02:55

Ds would usually have something like ham sandwich (wholemeal bread and nice ham wink), pieces of tomato, cucumber and red pepper, some sort of fruit (e.g. grapes, strawberries, apple), a carton of fruit juice, and a small cake/flapjack.

Btw, in Italy lunch boxes aren't allowed. So my dc's today's menu will be:
Pasta with tomato sauce
Grilled chicken and french beans
A piece of fruit.
Either they eat it or they don't.

LadyBiscuit Tue 12-Jan-10 11:03:23

Those suggested menus are a joke. If I gave my children slices of roast beef and a vegetable and rice salad it would come home uneaten.

Very keen on the 'homemade' aspect aren't they? Career women make bad mothers strikes again hmm

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:03:54


And <applause> for avenginggerbil. I remember a thread about DC being told off for having cheese and crackers as a snack, I guess that was you?

annmar Tue 12-Jan-10 11:04:19

DD1 has just started taking sandwiches a couple of days a week. I really didn't want her to do packed lunch because I don't want anyone to judge her on my choice of appropriate food.

Today she has:
Ham and salad cream sandwich(whole and white bread, crusts cut off)
Celery sticks
Cucumber sticks
An apple
A yoghurt
and some tap water

When she has school dinners she has a jacket potato and cheese or beans.

I heard this on R4 this morning and was a bit

DS2 today has taken
a cheese and brown sauce sandwich - the only type he will eat from a lunchbox - he'll eat different fillings at home just not at school so they probably do think 'poor child, give him something different!'
an apple
apple juice
carrot sticks
AND 2 jaffa cakes!!

He also has two fruit snacks through the day at school, one with milk, access to water all day. He'll probably has pasta or something and veg for tea. SO I really don't think 2 jaffa cakes is that bad when taken as part of his whole daily diet

LadyBiscuit Tue 12-Jan-10 11:04:52

mp got there first, curses [mad]

was a bit hmm

SofaQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 11:05:24

There aren't any carbs because the chicken is breaded and DS didn't want me to add additional breadsticks (only has 20 minutes to eat).

For snack, he has a fruit smoothie and cheese and breadsticks (I move the breadsticks to his snack).

Not hungry - in fact he rarely finishes his lunch (time constraint I think, and he is quite gabby so is probably talking instead of eating!)

jellycat Tue 12-Jan-10 11:06:27

IMO the lunchboxes I do are no less healthy than the school meals. If I used the suggested menus in that link ds2 wouldn't eat any of his lunch. He would rather go hungry. I note they are suggesting fromage frais, which usually contains plenty of sugar.

I find this modern aversion to sugar a bit hmm to be honest.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:08:03

Can i be the first to start ranting about this fixation with lunchbox contents and "good" foods and "bad" foods and having lunchboxes "checked", being a good way of instilling a really unhealthy relationship with food in small children, setting them up for a lifetime of food guilt and yoyo dieting?

(where is bonsoir?)

twofalls Tue 12-Jan-10 11:08:04

I follow a bit of a packed lunch box routine. DD normally has:

-A wholemeal martime or jam sandwich or breadsticks and hommous
-vegetable sticks (cucumber, carrot or pepper)
-fruit (different one every day)
-sometimes a dried fruit bar or an home made biscuit or mini banana muffin

I do think that a lot of kids have terrible lunch boxes - I don't think DDs is any great shakes (she is really fussy) but dinner ladies have told me they wished all children's were as good. My neighbour who is a TA said that in her school, a lot of the kids just come with crisps and chocolate and they have to sensitively try and educate the parents.

I think the problem with samples menus like the one linked to makes it look like such a faff that it is easier not to bother wheras if you said to parents stick to the healthy basics, more of them might tackle it.

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 11:08:48

My ds would probably love the roast beef with vegetable and rice salad - but I can't be bothered to make it, so he usually has sandwiches ! grin

shonaspurtle Tue 12-Jan-10 11:09:44

What is wrong with sandwiches?

(will go and read article now but I saw a bit of it on breakfast news and thought <parp>)

I've printed the menu off and will ask dd1 later! Today she has gone off with

Tuna/mayo/sweetcorn on brown bread.
Fromage frais
Taxi choc bar

Is that a really bad lunch?

bibbitybobbitysantahat Tue 12-Jan-10 11:10:10

I'm sorry but those menus are ludicrous! Oh God, I'm now fuming. The waste of money and time and effort that's gone into all this.

2snowshoes Tue 12-Jan-10 11:10:11

well dd wouldn't be able to eat most of what is suggested.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:10:16

i find this modern aversion to fat more than a bit hmm

gorionine Tue 12-Jan-10 11:10:16

Ok here:

1 bottle of water of carton of fruit juice but mostly water.

1 sandwich (egg mayo, tuna sweetcorn, chicken, cheese, carenteta which is a sort of cheek peas omelette,every now and then beef or turkey salami)


1 pasta salad,rice salad, taboule, couscous salad (all crammed with diced veg)


a home made vegetable pasty (either with any veg I have in fridge or "mediterranean" with tomato sauce, veg and italian herbs.


home made quiche (plain cheese or spinach)


1 flask of soup (for DD1 and Ds2 only as they can open it without scalding themselves)


1 dairy (piece of cheese or any yougurt I have)unless they have got something cheesy already, like cheese sandwich or quiche in which case they are likely to get an extra fruit or a biscuit or cereal bar)

+ two pieces of fruit/veg (just 1 for DS3 as he gets a fruit from school in the morning) either fresh, canned (pinapple) or dry.
(not every day) a cereal bar or a couple of biscuits.

It's wonderfully funny when the school dinners are far from perfect. Throw all the attention onto packed lunches to distract from sweet puddings every day, not enough fruit and pizza, chips, coated formed fish more often than they should have them.

DS's school does not have school dinners and I have to admit, having seen some of the lunchbox contents, I am not that shocked at the BBC's contents. DS's teachers had made a point of commenting on the healthiness of Ds's lunchbox and we don't go anywhere near the suggestions on that site, we do sandwiches and houmous and carrots and plain yoghurt. I have seen boxes full of packaged foods - crisps and chocolate and sweets and lunchables.

I think when you are someone who tries to send healthy food, it is hard to imagine that most people don't do the same but I think it is sadly the case.

The advice is bollocks though. Throwing out things like full fat cheese and yohurt, advertising low fat substitutes is atrocious, IMO>

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 11:11:01

Franca, so do I! I think that so long as ds has had some healthy savoury items (including salad/veg etc) there is no reason why he can't also have a cake. Although I do try to provide home-made stuff rather than very processed foods.

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jan-10 11:12:53

Mine have school dinners. She didn't want packed lunch.

I consider it money well spent, tbh.

They don't have very long to eat, and everytime I see one of these shows on what should go in their lunch I'm astounded at the amount of food in those boxes.

I couldn't even eat all that in 20 minutes, and I like food and don't spend time mucking about as they do.

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 11:13:13

My DS1 has a sandwich, smoothie, apple and a yogurt pretty much most days.

I am the only person that couldn't be arsed whipping up roast beef with onion and avocado salad?

This menu seems to be written by someone with no idea about children - they probably wouldn't eat and most people with children don't have time to prepare it.

The cynic in me would say the powers that be are purposely publishing impossible menu plans so that most parents will think "stuff it, I will send them in for school dinners" making it far more profitable for the council tendering process.

Here is the Californian recommended lunchbox. I scanned this off the school newsletter.

Fuyu persimmo, dijon vinaigrette dressing, 'pan grilled baby summer squash with blossoms'


nannynobnobs Tue 12-Jan-10 11:14:47

Today DD1 has:
Ham and salad cream sandwich on best of both bread
Box of raisins
Mini chocolate crispie cake

I would have her on school meals as I loathe making up lunch but it's too fricking expensive I agree about kids getting bored of eating sandwiches. I try and vary with wraps, slices of French stick, crackers and crispbreads.
DD1 usually doesn't eat everything but the cast- iron rule is you eat your fruit in the day or you don't get the 'treat' the next day, even if it means finishing up on the way home.

My lunchbox as a kid was unwaveringly the same.
Sandwich (usually Mighty White bread- WHY is that not available now?!)usually cheese or luncheon meat.
Yogurt (usually one of those 'French set' ones)
Penguin/Yoyo/Trio/Club (I have a longstanding dislike of Penguins after having them so bloody often)
Piece of fruit, usually ignored unless the dinnerlady saw and made you eat it.
Orange squash.

Snow, I think a slice of cake is actually part of a healthy diet for a child.
And bread. What's wrong with bread?????????????

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:15:10

bibbitybobbity yes they need to give some more normal approachable ideas.

As I always argue, the people who send their kids in with a mars bar are not suddenly going to start providing home-made quiche and mixed salad beans. What they might have a go at is putting in a handful of cherry toms, switching from white bread to one with more fibre, including an apple etc.

The proposed menus are doable, obviously, but only by someone who would probably be providing a pretty good lunch already.

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 11:15:27

Bread is EVIL because it doesn't take 30 minutes to prepare

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 11:16:10

I don't give meat because the lunchboxes are kept in a warm classroom

I don't give warm food like soup because flasks are banned hmm

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:16:12

dd1 rattles on about healthy food sometimes

i tell her that everything in moderation is fine

she is fit and healthy, a good weight for her height

her teeth are in good condition

so a bit of sugary food every now and again is clearly doing her no harm imvho

she eats a very balanced diet, far better than mine

so i'll be carrying on with the cheese butties, regardless of what the lunch box police tell me

if anyone ever tells her that cheese is unhealthy i shall be cross. she needs the calcium as she isn't keen on milk (loves cheese and yogurt though)

grin... surely you have a bread machine MP? shock

mamasmissionimpossible Tue 12-Jan-10 11:16:49

my ds has a taken a packed lunch to preschool today containing:
A marmite sandwich
carrot sticks
grapes (about 10)
A slice of fruit loaf
a carton of apple juice
a yogurt

The preschool staff said that the lunchboxes I provided for ds, were the healthiest <twirls> <sticks on gold star>

mrsruffallo Tue 12-Jan-10 11:17:11

How can a sandwich, yoghurt and fruit be unhealthy
Poncetastic article

gorionine Tue 12-Jan-10 11:18:30

you are right morningpaper, it usually takes more than 30 min grin

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:18:51

oooh i rather fancy a marmite sandwich now

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:20:33

and an apricot frube

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:20:48

Avocado would be brown by lunchtime really unappetising.

The menus read like the person has gone to M&S in their lunchbreak and gone round the office lunch aisle and written down what they have found. They ran out of time before they got to the bit with the sandwiches.

bibbitybobbitysantahat Tue 12-Jan-10 11:20:53

You've hit the nail on the head there ImSoNot.

Can't we get the clowns who dreamt this up in to have a "round the kitchen table chat" at MNHQ instead of David Willets.

They can prepare the lunchboxes whilst also doing breakfast, showering and getting dressed and getting at least two children ready for school in an hour and a half. If they also manage to feed and change a baby in that time they get a big gold star for effort!

mamasmissionimpossible Tue 12-Jan-10 11:21:49

I'll make you a marmite sandwich, tiger feet! I have some left over from this mornings packed lunch fest!

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 11:22:28

There isn't anything wrong with a sandwich, fruit and yoghurt - in fact if you look at the suggested menu plan, one of the lunches is just that (ham baguette with slad, fruit and yoghurt!). It's just that most people (including myself) can't be bothered to vary the packed lunch much beyond that.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it, although it may be a bit boring. Although my ds would happily eat the same thing every day if it was something he liked.

Btw Franca, your school lunches sound lovely - think I will move to Italy....

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:22:54

Ha yes.

Second the vote for school food trust people in for a webchat.

presumably they will refuse all offers of biscuits

OrmIrian Tue 12-Jan-10 11:24:02

Of course it's rubbish. And who's to judge what is healthy or not? In the context of a whole diet. Is a lunch box healthy if it contains only hummous, fruit and wholemeal bread? Or is it healthy if it a bit more balanced?

OrmIrian Tue 12-Jan-10 11:25:45

But I have to say my DC would lose weight very quickly if I gave them most of the suggested lunches. They simply wouldn't eat them! Which is a result of sorts hmm

those menus also are a bit crap for the veggie children what with all that meat

it's all a bit brave new world for me.
next thing we know they'll be wanting to have our babies for us, just in case we can't manage to do that right either,.

in fact, i don't know why they don't just open huge children's institutes everywhere, then take all babies away as soon aas they're born so that they can bring them all up the right way and feed them the right food.

clearly we are not capable angry

TheDevilWearsPrimark Tue 12-Jan-10 11:26:56

I want to know how you can do falafel pitta with avocado tomato and onion salad, a pear, a yoghurt and a bottle of mineral water for under £1.50? ridiculous.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:26:56

No orm your hummus bread fruit is deffo not healthy.

It needs to be hand crafted organic 3 bean salad with a light soy vinigarette, drizzled handsomely over a slow poached monkfish fillet on a bed of artichoke hearts. that might pass muster.

myhandslooksoold Tue 12-Jan-10 11:28:52

that menu is hilarious- why are they called 'orange segments' why not just call it an orange for the love of god.
I still don't think my DD's school dinners are that healthy- yesterday was pizza which she picked the peppers off, potato wedges and lemon sponge cake. Hmmm my packed lunches are healthier even if they are as humble as a ham and cucumber sandwich, some cherry toms and a handful of grapes oooh and a kit kat or the suchlike (strike me down)

katylou25 Tue 12-Jan-10 11:30:15

Hmm ds1 is very set in his ways about his lunch boxes

He has
marmite sandwich every day!!

then varied fruit/dairy/treats

Today he had

marmite sandwich
breadsticks and cream cheese
carrot sticks

yesterday was

marmite sandwich
pear and grapes
h/m fairy cake

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jan-10 11:30:31

Am I the only one with children who have appetites like hummingbirds?

Do young children really eat so much in 20 minutes?

My gawd, maybe they should be looking at portions sizes and the amount of food rather than hammering on about sugar and fat.

My children are twiglets. They're fussy eaters who don't each much at one sitting, but I'm glad they don't go to a school with this 'all fats are bad' approach because they need every calorie they can get!

[thin genes run on both sides of the family and DH's side is well-above average for height]

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 11:31:51

Hold on. Do they suggest a bottle of mineral water most days?

They do don't they.

That is environmentally extremely unsound. They have gone way off-message there and I hope the environment agency takes their lunches away as punishment.

Pizza is actually quite healthy if the right ingredients are used...

mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:37:44

lunch at school is my one big jesus I could scream thing

our school is v v biased towards wanting DC to have school dinner, so NO hot food allowed for packed lunches (so no flask of soup/stew), no choc, crisps, biscuits. DD was told not to bring dried apricots because they weren't fresh and were bad for her teeth

School dinners today?: Hot dog in a roll, wedges, veg and chocolate sponge with custard

tis a fucking joke

mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:38:35

And those suggestions for smoothies etc wouldn't work because packed lunches are only allowed water or milk in a CLEAR container so the staff can check

morningpaper Tue 12-Jan-10 11:40:21

can check what? If it is an incendiary device? <tut> It's all MAAAAD

gorionine Tue 12-Jan-10 11:42:10

Ormirian, I second you, it needs to be balanced and take into account what sort of activity the child takes (ie walks to school or not, has an after school club that does not leave time for a snack before start...)

DS3 was comming back from school at one point with all his lunch minus fruit, because "only fruit and veg were healthy" according to what he had heard in school. It took me days to be able to convince him that his body needed other foods too. In the end I found a book talking about nutrition(for children) with all the food groups and NONE was banned, eventually he started eating normally again, was probably strving by this timesmile.

I cannot help but thinking that had he had school lunch instead, he would have got on eating nothing but fruits for God knows how long before noticed.

I must say that our school menu is really nice and varied, they really made a lot of efforts in the last few years, but I am a controle freak and needs to know what they ate and how much to "balance" if needed in the evening meal.

Expat, my DCs are twigs like yours and I had several "runs in" with a particular teacher DD1 had wo was telling her off for reatng a ceral bar saying to her "and your mum thinks it is ok does she, to give you something fat and sugary?" I had to actually use all my selfcontrole to not throttle her (teacher) and tell her calmly "I agree with giving DCS a balanced diet but would not put them on a diet" as it is very different IMHO.

I want a marmite sandwich now!

I looked at those menu's and thought - I'd love lunches like that. But a 5 year old? And nothing repeated in a three-week period?!

I have all this to look forward to as only have a toddler. And even at 2 he'd eat the same thing every day quite happily.

My packed lunches sound like everyone else's used to be - a sandwich - white bread usually, with either ham or paste (!!!), a chocolate bar, maybe some crisps. Maybe fruit but never as a rule.

Oh I'd love to have lunch made for me every day now, even if it was a paste sandwich.

nickelbabe Tue 12-Jan-10 11:44:01

i watched something on bbc breakfast this morning where they showed a school and healthy lunches etc.
one of the boys opened his lunch box and there was a whole orange in there - not a satsuma, an orange.
i was a bit shock and hmm actually.
there's no way i could have eaten a whole orange when i was in junior school without squirting juice on me and most of my friends! (although he might have had a tupperware orange peeler) how is that possible? a tub with orange segments i can understand, or an easy peel orange.
maybe it was just me and all children are capable of peeling an orange without mess....

mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:44:08

"and your mum thinks it is ok does she, to give you something fat and sugary?"

how did you stop yourself from throttling her? saying that to a child is way out of line

LunarSea Tue 12-Jan-10 11:44:14

I'd probably fall foul of that as I usually put in fruit rather than vegetables - a whole apple, pear or satsuma or a handful of grapes doesn't take any additional preparation time, whereas there aren't many vegetables which you can say the same about.

We do have plenty of veg with evening meals though so over a day it'd balance out.

Yzzil Tue 12-Jan-10 11:44:45

My eldest is 2 so I have yet to experience this trauma. But mii the lunch police sound ridiculous!

I remember in my days when we had a tuck shop at school....(sighs nostalgically)

mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:46:36

yzzil, I had chips and gravy EVERYDAY for 4 years at secondary school


<hunting for the bisto>

grumpypants Tue 12-Jan-10 11:46:47

isn't it that the pkd lunches don't conform to the standards required of school dinners? I don't want or need to be told how to gfeed my children, and I treat their pkd lunch as part of their whole day's intake of food. So, small pkt maryland cookies at lunch, snack on an apple at home etc.

gorionine Tue 12-Jan-10 11:51:12

mii, it is the sme here, they want to break us into buying school lunches.

I think that my Dcs lunch boxes could probably be improved but they are not unhealthy and are certainly varied. Another issue is that financially, we would not survive with paying 4 school lunches a day. (£1.75 x 4 X 5 X 4 = £140) a month on top of my regular shopping bill which I would not be able to decrease by the same amount even if they did eat school lunch.

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:51:32

oooh thanks mamamission


mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:53:07

yy cost ridiculous

I can feed the whole family for £5-£6 a meal

Am I going to pay £1.90 for one meal for a 4yr old, that she will probably eat 4 bites of, am I feck

TigerFeet Tue 12-Jan-10 11:53:25

chips and gravy..... oh god

<eats organic home grown apple and hides thread>

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jan-10 11:54:14

see, that's just it: do all this, then they go to secondary school and eat chips every single day.

there's only one secondary school in a rather large area around here, and it's open campus.

come lunchtime, every tuck shop in town is busy doling out the chips.

mii Tue 12-Jan-10 11:56:25

yy expat our chippy does a lunch meal deal £1.10 for half chips, sausage and can of drink

the queue is a mile long when the secondary schools kick out at lunch time

Oh yes, as for secondary school dinners - chips chips chips! We even had chips with cheesy potato pie (er just mash and cheese, right?)

Chips with jacket potatoes
Chips with hot dog
Chips with burgers
Chips with pizza
Chips with chips

I don't think I ate a vegetable at that school in 7 years of being there. I was stick-thin too. Probably because for the last three years I spent my dinner money on fags hmm but at least I was off the chips wink

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 11:57:44

At DS1 school the menu seems fairly healthy but is prepared somewhere else and then re-heated at the school. All for £1.85, most of which will end up in the bin.

If you had 3 children then that soon mounts up.

greygirl Tue 12-Jan-10 12:01:59

my husband groaned when this came on the radio - he thinks i spend too much worrying about what's in her lunchbox as it is.
AND THEN DD comes home to tell me that 'maddie has monster munch and i would like some'....
choppped carrot sticks just won't cut the mustard for her now!

Sixmincepiessoontobeseven Tue 12-Jan-10 12:03:22

I with you giorionine I to have 4 children and couldn't cut the cost of my shopping bill to accomadate school meals.


dd1 (sec school) had a chiken sandwich, frube, pepperami and a diet coke
dd2 Dairylea sandwich, frube, pepperami and blackcurrant cordial
dd3 Cheese square sandwich, frube, pepperami, apple, pear blackcurrant cordial

I will give them a packet of crisp occasionally, usually on fridays when we're running out of stuff and its shopping day.

I thought their lunches were ok but they tell me that so an so had a chocolate biscuit crisps bar of choc everyday and they are supposed to be a healthy school. I did go mad when one day, we were running low and I put a Chocolate wafer biscuit in the dinner lady saw it and took it of dd3, so all she had was a cheese sandwich all day.

SofaQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 12:06:16

When we were deciding between sending DS1 to the Lycee Francais versus and English school, one of the big plusses of the Lycee was the canteen. The lunch menu is here.

Very different from most of the dinners I read about here.

We unfortunately didn't choose the Lycee, meaning I have to me packed lunches every day. grrr.

Orlando Tue 12-Jan-10 12:10:54

Poncetastic adventurous food is fine for times when you're there and can bribe encourage them to eat it. If I gave mine three bean salad in a lunchbox I can just imagine the conversation around the table when they opened it at school.

And like expat all my girls could be blown over with a puff of air. Calories are what they NEED. Blimey, everyone's quick to blame Kate Moss and Keira Knightly for anorexia in young girls but imo the 'chocolate is the devil's vomit' police are not without responsibility.

PiggyPenguin Tue 12-Jan-10 12:11:46

It is particularly farcical when looked at with the 'good food school guide menu' they are given as hot dinners at school. There is no chocolate/crisps/biscuits etc allowed at my kids school in the packed lunch, but the menu for hot dinners yesterday was fishfingers and potato wedges or quorn chow mein with sticky chocolate muffin and milkshake for dessert. DS's favourite pudding is chocolate brickwall with chocolate sauce.

Its hardly fair is it? ok to eat the schools chocolate based puddings but not your mums.

edam Tue 12-Jan-10 12:12:46

Good to see a sensible quote from the School Food Trust saying they are improving standards for school dinners and would encourage parents to let their kids try them – rather than bashing us over the heads.

Study actually shows half had fruit, 20% vegetables and only just over a quarter had "sweets, savoury snacks, and sugary drinks". So not as bad as the headline suggests.

Ds's school don't do dinners so he has to have a packed lunch. And no, I don't have enough time to do a three course banquet and he doesn't have enough time to eat it either. Today he has a ham sandwich on wholemeal bread, a (prepacked so shoot me) fruit smoothie, cherry tomatoes, banana and a yoghurt. Has something similar most days, swapping sliced bread for pitta or wrap, filling to mackerel (mixed with cream cheese to make a paste) or cheese, different fruit or drink.

I think that's reasonably healthy. Problem is they don't have enough time to eat and play so he often comes home with stuff left over. But eats it on the way back or at home as a snack.

edam Tue 12-Jan-10 12:13:46

yuck at quorn, have never been convinced it is healthy. Am veggie and never touch the stuff.

ronshar Tue 12-Jan-10 12:16:07

Chips and beans for me. Every day for four years. My pudding was a 1/4 of teddy bears from the shop across the road!

My DD's school send home letters asking parents to try not to send in crisps, chocolate bars, and fizzy drinks. Most parents seem to agree because the school have approached it from the behaviour/education route rather than healthy eating nonsense.

I still get grief from DD2 in reception as others get chocolate bars why cant she? I just tell her it is because I have eaten them al and so there are none left to give them to hersmile

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jan-10 12:18:06

I just made an utterly fattening chocolate/vanilla marble cake for the girls to snack on.

Loaded with butter.

I make them milkshakes with ice cream nearly every day and snacks like onion rings and chips.

Honestly, they're so thin and really need every calorie they can get.

DD1 has to have build up shakes prescribed to her every time she falls ill because she loses her appetite.

TheShriekingHarpy Tue 12-Jan-10 12:19:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 12:26:52

The problem seems to me that it tackled from a adult's point of view.
My DCs had no interest at all in what is in the lunch box! They wanted something that wasn't messy that they could eat very quickly and get out to play-I don't think that this has occurred to any of the 'powers that be'!!
DS1 was the worst, and at secondary school (where not checked up upon), he didn't eat any of it until he got home!! He thought eating a waste of time!
Fruit was pointless-it came home. They would have been furious if anything was in little bits!
It never bothered me because they had a healthy and varied diet the rest of the time. The lunch box was boring-a very plain sandwich and a piece of cake.
I would love someone to pack me a lunch box of the sort mentioned- but I am an adult and I enjoy eating-I don't view it as an inconvenience!

PeachyWillNeverVoteBNP Tue 12-Jan-10 12:37:15

DS2 has sandwiches, he has a wrap or butty with whole bread,smoothie or juice,pieceof fruit (he loves tomatoes atm so will eat several of those), yoghurt and either biscuit orcrips.

He's skinny and whilst there is non perfect food in there, I can'tsee its any worse than the sort of thing the other two get on school lunches-yesterday chips,peas,fish nibbles and cake. Quite often hot dog and chips, even (Wales so food rules notas applicable)

littleducks Tue 12-Jan-10 12:40:08

My kids eat alot of rice at home, hot not salad but there is noway i would inflict that on any poor dinner lady......i am always sweeping up odd grains of rice as they make so much mess

I agree the suggestedmenus are abit odd, i dont normally support 'kiddie food' there are no fish finger etc in my house i serve the fish the way i eat it etc. but those ideas seem like the things i might pick if i was having a child free lunch as they are quite adult orientated.

I would give a child veg soup for lunch but not a salad as a main, maybe a side salad.

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 12:41:38

Pisces, I think you make a very good point there. DS1 is not that interested in his lunch because it gets in the way of him chatting to his friends. TBh he sees food as a bit of a chore not a pleasure. If I was to fill his pack lunch with some of the suggested menu he would be even less likely to eat it.

ronshar Tue 12-Jan-10 12:42:22

Exactly Piscesmoon.
All the children really want to do is get out to play. I think the girls get about 15 mins to eat their lunch before they have to go outside to play.
How long does it take to eat pasta salad?? Too long as far as my DDs are all too happy t point out when I ask why they havent eaten their lunch again!!

LadyBiscuit Tue 12-Jan-10 12:44:40

Well exactly piscesmoon. When kids have an hour to eat lunch and play, you want to be able to stuff the maximum amount of food into them in the shortest amount of time. Tis why frubes are so great - much faster than a yoghurt. Even if mine would eat a beef rice salad (which they wouldn't), they wouldn't bother spending the time on it.

RedFraggle Tue 12-Jan-10 12:46:08

Totally agree with sybilvimes.

Packed lunches are not allowed to contain sweets or chocolate or cakes etc (fair enough - not a problem) But... when my DD had a week of school dinners at the end of term she had dessert every day. Ice cream/muffin/cake etc. How is that fair? School with give children paying for school dinners a muffin, but I cannot include a mini muffin in her packed lunch.

Also agree with the confusion over healthy eating and adult dieting preoccupation. My DD is like me tall and slim. After illness she is so skinny you can literally count her ribs. She needs a diet rich in healthy but fattening foods. So lots of chhese and whole milk etc. The same things adults look on as evil...

There really ought to be totally different dietary guidelines for children. Yes - an excess of chocolate and crisps etc is always going to be bad for you. But children are well able to handle this in moderation as part of a balanced healthy meal plan.

As for the suggested lunchboxes! My DD would not touch them. She has a healthy hot breakfast everyday and a healthy hot evening meal. I'm not going to spend ages cooking up a packed dinner for her that I know she won't eat.

Her packed lunch today was:
jam sandwiches (current obsession)
Bag of crisps
Small block of cheddar cheese
Handful of strawberries
A banana
Carton of apple juice

SofaQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 12:48:22

Yes, but attitudes towards food are learned from a young age. If you look at the menus from the Lycee Francais, they are well balanced, not dumbed down, and would be something I would be happy to eat as an adult. This is the menu for children from nursery on up.

One doesn't really see kids menus in France or Italy (except maybe smaller portions of something on the menu for adults). I don't think that lunchboxes need to be worthy of michelin *s, but I do think they should reflect the food normally eaten at home (normally DS1 gets a portable version of leftovers).

In terms of crisps and sweets - nothing is wrong with them in the overall picture, but to have them as an acceptable thing every lunch is too much. I don't do crisps (we don't eat them anyways) or sweets because the are supposed to be treats, and not a part of normal meals.

CatIsSleepy Tue 12-Jan-10 12:52:48

I think they are comparing packed lunches to school dinners
apparently there are quite stringent nutritional standards that school dinners have to meet so it's not that surprising that most lunch boxes don't meet the same standards

LadyBlaBlah Tue 12-Jan-10 12:53:32

The problem with all of this self righteous nonsense is that the research was conducted at a time when we were facing an obesity CRISIS, when all our children were going to explode and go into a diabetic coma, but yet again, they got their predictions wrong and the obesity CRISIS did not and probably will not happen.

My DSs sometimes have 'appalling' lunchboxes, but they do a LOT of sport, and never snack between meals. And they are not fat and not unfit or unhealthy.

They too eat the bare minimum to get out to play as quickly as possible. They are kids. I am suspicious of any child who sits down and eats a beef rice salad..................reeks of extreme parental conditioning.

Awassailinglookingforanswers Tue 12-Jan-10 12:54:24

my DS's both get free school dinner (but of the packed lunch variety as the don't provide hot meals at either school so all the other children have packed lunches too).

There's always

a roll or sandwich - bread type varies as does the filling

a small pack of fruit/vegetable bits (usually untouched by DS1)

a yoghurt/jelly pot/occasionally a muffin

carton of juice/milkshake/anything that's not fizzy

So - looking at those "suggested packed lunch box contents" - and comparing it with the ones provided by the council for free school meals I think they're totally and utterly barking mad!

They don't need all that adult based stuff - most of them wouldn't be interested in it in the short space of time they have to eat it anyhow!

RedFraggle Tue 12-Jan-10 12:55:42

As Pisces said children just want to get the food eaten as fast as possible. My Dd gets a maximum of 15 minutes to eat in. She is a terrible dawdler unless she actually likes the food (and I mean really likes it) At home this is not an issue. She can spend as many hours as she wants over her dinner. But in school she can't. You could present DD (and I suspect most other children) with the most fantastic menu in the world - if she only gets 15 minutes she won't eat it.

When I was at school my lunch consisted of a ham sandwich, bag of crisps and chocolate bar. I was never more than about a size 6. Why? Because I ate healthy meals the rest of the time. One meal a day is not life or death and we need to stop treating it as such.

Hulababy Tue 12-Jan-10 12:58:47

I know on here loads of people on here (have read a lot of below) plus people in RL give fab packed lunches, and I know on the occasional time DD has a packed lunch (school trips, etc) I also give her a great packed lunch.

I don't think the stats are right from the OP at all. The percentage of healthypacked lunches MUST be greater.

However can also add that there are some - and not just a small minority sadly - at the school I work at where the children's packed lunches are really not good. I only witness this occasionally granted - normally wet lunch time. But we are talking of a lunchbox full of crisps, cake and chocolate - not even a sadnwich in a couple one day!

But no way is the percentage of good ones so low.

AuldAlliance Tue 12-Jan-10 13:03:02

Well, I'd feel free to ignore any menu recommendations foisted upon me by people who think that "A lot of cost" could conceivably a correct and meaningful phrase, TBH.

They are clearly lacking vital minerals which allow the linguistic functions in their brains to operate.

AuldAlliance Tue 12-Jan-10 13:05:10

I have just proved Sod's Law, article 25: "any internet post in which you pick on other people's spelling or grammar will invariably comprise a glaring error, which you will spot as you hit 'post' but which it will sadly be too late to rectify."

ronshar Tue 12-Jan-10 13:08:41


This is insane. My DCs hot dinners conform to 'national standards' - so they regularly get pizza with potato wedges and a slice of bread. The salad is, apparently, optional. So is the bread, but it is a rare 5 year old that will take limp iceburg lettuce over a slice of bread and your own little pat of butter-alike, in my experience. And cake for pudding.

When we queried this with them, we were told that the government required 50% complex carbs for the poor little so and so's. Presumably playground accidents are being avoided because they are too leaden to run about.

In the meantime, I turn myself inside out to make the lunchboxes on other days, healthy. We have
sandwich (which can include bagels or pittas) (different protein every day - fish, chicken, egg, ham, cheese over a week)
one type of veg (usually tomatoes or cucumber)
one piece of fruit
one fromage frais
watered fruit juice or plain milk (but only if it's cold enough).

It's straightforward enough, the kicker is the planning. If child A only eats apples or apricots and child B doesn't like egg and child C will eat any raw veg you give her but leaves the fruit, and they don't all have packed lunches on the same day, but it's Tuesday so we're out to ballet after school and they need a good lunch but the hot lunch today was chick pea surprise (surprise! none of the kids will eat it!), the what on earth am I going to feed my children?

The idea of getting the smug jounalists to actually feed three children for a week is a good on.

Pannacotta Tue 12-Jan-10 13:10:18

DS1 is very thin and gets very cold so have been loading his lunch box up with calories in recent weather.

He has wholemeal sandwich/pitta with turkey plus marmite or cheese (always some protein), cucumber/carrot sticks plus grapes, fruit bar, carton of apple juice and either some crisps (mini cheddars or wholemeal Walkers thingies) or small choc biscuit or eg homemade fairy cake.

I get very frustrated by the school, which is a healthy eating school, but thinks that fruit is an appropriate and filling snack for small kids.

I did suggest to them that something more filling such as cheese and crackers would be better for the children (protein essential for keeping blood sugar stready) but have got nowhere...

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 13:13:03

'One meal a day is not life or death and we need to stop treating it as such.

Exactly! Mine ate fruit, pasta salad, rice etc at home and they are all slim and fit. I think the extra time running around the playground was much better than sitting still eating the 'healthy lunch'!
To be fair, they were given time to eat it but they were the ones who wanted to be out first. I had school dinners when I was a DC, but I tried to eat as little as possible. We had all sorts of dodges, a nasty one for the kitchen staff must have been when we spread the leftover out over the plate and hid it by putting another plate on top! We were very good at sidling out without view of an adult and scraping in the bin. I remember putting grated carrot in my hanky and getting rid of it later. A friend stuffed things down her socks!! DCs views on eating are very different from adult ones. One of the reasons was not liking the noisy dining room. I liked eating-I just didn't like eating at school.
It also makes me smile that mothers should have so much time to plan and prepare these packed lunches! Even when I do one for myself I grab whatever is handy and easy and I generally have the same every day. I put the variety, and work, into the evening meal.
It would be bad if the packed lunch was an indication of the DCs entire diet, but no one can know that!

foxinsocks Tue 12-Jan-10 13:15:21

I bet they surveyed the lunch boxes on a Friday when most people have run out of stuff and are packing their child off with a jam sandwich and a bag of crisps

onagar Tue 12-Jan-10 13:17:55

Not read the whole thread yet, but this was my first thought. It suggests that 99% of all ordinary mums in the UK (as opposed to child-care guru's who write books etc) think that the whole 'healthy lunchbox' rules are wrong/pointless.

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 13:22:06

If I make a cheese sandwich and they leave it or only eat part it doesn't bother me, but if I had made a homemade salmon pasta salad with peas and sweetcorn and they left it I would be upet at the sheer waste of food and waste of effort. I would do it for an evening meal when they had the time and inclination to eat it.
Schools would also need to change their storage arrangements, for example they would need to be kept very cool in the summer. I go into quite a few schools and not one has adequate storage for that sort of lunch.

Awassailinglookingforanswers Tue 12-Jan-10 13:31:36

"I bet they surveyed the lunch boxes on a Friday when most people have run out of stuff and are packing their child off with a jam sandwich and a bag of crisps"

and they obviously didnt include those children who had free school packed lunches grin

OrmIrian Tue 12-Jan-10 13:38:20

When my DS#1 first started reception I was fanatical about what I put in his lunch box - nowt but wm bread sarnies and fruit. One day he pleaded for some fruit winders - being a bit ignorant of such junk I gave in and put one in for a treat. It just happened to be the first day of Healthy Schools week and the teacher gave me a lecture hmm

Undercovamutha Tue 12-Jan-10 13:39:43

The reason it is apparently 1% is because the criteria is laughable. So if you give your DC fruit, water and a ham sandwich, that may be deemed unhealthy if the meat is processed (which the vast majority of cold meat is these days).

My DD is only at school half day (she's 3) so has lunch at home, but even then I don't vary it much. She has beans or spaghetti with toast one day (a hanging offence probably) and a sandwich the next (often with cheese or processed ham). She usually has tomatoes with the sandwich, and has fruit for dessert. She has a banana mid afternoon and then something like pasta with chicken and veg (peppers/onions etc) or shepherds pie with veg for tea. However the only way I can get her to eat her tea these days is to bribe her with a snack size muller snack corner thing blush.

thesteelfairy Tue 12-Jan-10 13:40:06

Ds has the same thing every single day, he has ASD though.

Ham on crusty bread (no butter)
1 x cheese string or Baby Bel
1 x box apple or orange juice
1 x fairy cake or lemon slice
1 x yoghurt.

Its not great but its certainly not an "unhealthy" lunch I don't think.

clumsymum Tue 12-Jan-10 13:40:57

Hmmmm, well those suggested packed lunches linked to on the first page all looked lovely, but I CAN'T/WON'T set about making home-made salmon sandwich spreads, or brown rice salads for packed lunches, when I'm doing all the cooking/prep from scratch for our main family meals of the day.

Anyway, so much for 'healthy2 school dinners - yesterday ds was served up Pizza & chips, with choc sponge and custard for dessert. Now I'm happy that it's a perfectly adequate winter lunch for an active boy, but it doesn't scream "healthy diet" does it?

PeachyWillNeverVoteBNP Tue 12-Jan-10 13:44:59

'Also agree with the confusion over healthy eating and adult dieting preoccupation. My DD is like me tall and slim. After illness she is so skinny you can literally count her ribs. She needs a diet rich in healthy but fattening foods. So lots of chhese and whole milk etc. The same things adults look on as evil...'

Yep,my ds1is especially vulnerable due to SN but has serious eating issues (obvious ED managed atm but in no way resolved) as a result of his literal interpretation of the absolutes of school-food-education combined with his obsessive personality and a natural skinny body. he now hides food,binges, all those things we know are bad.

School nutrition is a nonsense. I'm going in to helpwith afoodtech classnext term(my big thing- wish I hadtrained but never occurred to me) and we are making smoothies; ds1saidtome'and the teacher said if we include X it willmake uslessstresseed,or Y willmake us look young when we areold'

Er sorry? Science please!

We have a generation of teachers and planners who,likeme,grew up in the non food tech era and they are getting their info fromnowhere and applying it badly.

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 13:51:02

I go into a lot of schools, and only one has lovely lunches that I would like to eat-if I had the time. They have their own kitchen and locally produced food-a lot of the staff eat them which is a sure sign they are good! Parents can book a lunch and go and eat with their DCs. It is not the norm!
It seems silly to make lunch boxes healthy and carry on having chicken nuggets etc for the cooked lunch.

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 13:51:46

Think my ds must be weird, as the only child who isn't desperate to get out and play at lunch time! Not that he doesn't enjoy playing, but he seems to be more keen on eating. He loves the school dinners, and often has seconds if there is any. As he is quite a slow eater, this means it often takes him almost all the lunch break to eat his lunch!

By the way, his makes him sound either a) very greedy and lazy or b) like I never feed him at home. Neither of which are true - he always knows when he has had enough, is quite active and very slim, and I do feed him at home!!

Pitchounette Tue 12-Jan-10 13:53:03

Message withdrawn

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 13:56:20

Our school lunches are quite reasonable, health-wise. They always include fresh veg and salad (and the children can have both, which my ds usually does) and home-made wholemeal bread. There are some not-quite-so-healthy puddings, but there is always also the choice of fresh fruit, yoghurt or cheese and crackers. And if the children have had a healthy main course, then I don't see anything wrong with a pudding.

Pitchounette Tue 12-Jan-10 13:56:31

Message withdrawn

fernie3 Tue 12-Jan-10 13:58:11

today my daughter has ham salad sandwich and a banana. I used to put more in but she was coming home upset everyday because she was not getting time to finish (slow eater) and most of the food was left anyway and ended up in the bin. Now I just give her a snack when she gets home to top her up.

DS doesnt eat and is the most stubborn child in the world

have tried the ignore he will eat when he is hungry approach - i lasted 8 days where he only ate bread and butter before i gave in

8 days FGS !

so, he gets what i know he will eat and its the same every day

cheese and ham (nice ham natch) or chicken sandwich on malted seed bread

a clementine

an apple - of which he will eat half

a yoghurt


2 small homemade biscuits or small pack of cookies

i really have no interest whether the powers that be deem ths to be good enough or not - he is eating, its not total crap and thats good enough for me

however, my sis is a teacher in a primary school and some of the things she has told me have just made me so sad and angry

small children with literally a lunchbox containing 2 packets of crisps and a few choc bars and a can of cola

one child just had a packet of biscuits sad

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 14:07:34

Korma - have you stolen my son? grin He is not massively interested but his pack lunch is vaguely healthy and TBH I don't give a stuff that some jobsworth (who by the sounds of it has never actually met a child before) thinks he should be eating.

The sort of parents who send their child to school with a packet of Jaffa Cakes (happened at DS1's school) are not going to suddenly start making beef with and avocado and onion salad.

skidoodle Tue 12-Jan-10 14:11:57

"I go into a lot of schools, and only one has lovely lunches that I would like to eat-if I had the time. They have their own kitchen and locally produced food-a lot of the staff eat them which is a sure sign they are good! Parents can book a lunch and go and eat with their DCs. It is not the norm!"


Gosh I wish it were.

Lovely that parents can book a lunch too, what a nice idea.

thecrackfox do you have a fussy eater too ?

he drives me insane tbh and i lose so much sleep

despite me doing everyhting by the book, i made annabel sodding karmel look like a ready meal fiend when we were weaning - he now chooses to eat nothing angry

i give him food that i know he likes with a veg that i know he doesnt. if he tries the veg (never happens) then he may have biscuit/cake afterwards.

he doesnt try anything new, but he doesnt get anything else either

i am hoping and praying that if i saty firm and dont make a big issue out of it then he will eventually just try

he doesnt eat a lot either which worrries me, he is such a tiny little scrap of a boy

MayorNaze Tue 12-Jan-10 14:24:59

dd1 is one of those that really can't be arsed to eat, especially if she only has 15 minutes to eat in. she is 7 and has half blush a round of sandwiches (nice ham and cucumber), a box of raisins and a carton of pure juice. and she doesn't always eat that i have started to send her with a cereal bar at breaktime in desparation and if anyone gives me grief about that then there will be hell to pay...angry

MollyRoger Tue 12-Jan-10 14:40:17

have just been reading an article in the independant where they examined 4 different ''typical''lunchboxes...and one, which seemed fine to me, contained a chicken sandwich, apple, yoghurt, orangejuice and water drink.

But the 'expert' said of it: ''chicken is a low fat source of protein but if you swapped it for ham or beef, the iron and zinc content of this could be higher''

However, on the news, another 'expert' dismissed ham as being too salty for a healthy lunch box hmm


clumsymum Tue 12-Jan-10 14:43:58

Look, given that I was in the school staffroom one lunchtime, when a member of staff came in to ask if anyone could spare some food for one of the kids (age 6), whose lunchbox contained 2 packets of Haribos and a kitkat, I don't think many of us should be beating ourselves up.

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 14:48:04

Korma - he sounds completely like mine. My stress levels have been crazy over this.

However, the past year I have taken the view that nothing works so I prepare meals that I know he will eat. They are healthyish but with the added bonus of bringing my blood pressure right down.

I am hoping he will grow out of it.

If I prepared some of the lunches suggested he wouldn't eat it. The "eat when he is hungry" approach does not work with him because he doesn't really want to eat.

TheEarthIsFlat Tue 12-Jan-10 14:51:53

I suspect this a government initiative designed to 'guilt' people into paying for school dinners. ds does have school dinners, but they're not as healthy as this study implies.

Katisha Tue 12-Jan-10 14:59:21

Wouldn't matter how many times I put a falafel in a lunchbox - it would return uneaten every single day.
Agree with the consesus that the menus are barking and fiddly. And would not get eaten.

LeightonCourtDiscoQueen Tue 12-Jan-10 15:02:45

Mine used to have school dinners, but swapped to packed lunches because of the food on offer and the time taken to queue for it.

Today they had:

veggie soup
ham and pickle sandwich

They never have crisps, but they usually have a biscuit on a Friday instead of the yoghurt-type item.

Morloth Tue 12-Jan-10 16:04:22

Depends on your definition of "healthy" I think.

DS today had:

Bread roll (grainy) with cream cheese and Vegemite (not that nasty gloop you people try to pretend is as good wink).
Bottle of water
Raisins, Dried apricots
Carrot sticks with hummous
Nutrigrain bar thingy

Plenty of fat and sugar (and salt with vegemite) in there I reckon, but then I don't view those as bad things really, just things that need to be taken into account throughout the day.

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jan-10 16:21:34

'I get very frustrated by the school, which is a healthy eating school, but thinks that fruit is an appropriate and filling snack for small kids.'

Here! Here! Most of the children at DD1's school bring along supplemental snacks of things like cheese cubes and crackers. I do!

This whole thing operates under the assumption that all children have a weight problem/are obese.

Our primary school has a garden space of several hectares, full of trees and an obstacle course and playground equipment.

There's hardly an obese child in the place.

'Healthy eating' doesn't just mean low-fat.

Katisha Tue 12-Jan-10 16:29:38

Absolutely expat.

Low fat Must Not Be Questioned.

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 16:35:06

Funny how the obesity crisis really took off when low fat food and sugar substitutes became the norm within processed food.

OrmIrian Tue 12-Jan-10 16:36:30

morloth - I must just take issue with you. We don't pretend it is as good. We know it is better grin

Morloth Tue 12-Jan-10 16:50:00

It is all slimy though Orm all slimy and not nearly salty enough.

Agree with recent posts about exercise, kids can burn anything off if you give them the opportunity.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 16:50:09

<nods sagely at thecrackfox>

All these bloody "low fat" foods where they take out the fat and with it the flavour, have to put chemicals in to perform the function the fat was performing naturally (creamyness or whatever) then stuff it full of sugar to make it palatable. But the label simply says "reduced fat only 0.1% fat" and doesn't mention all the shit. Grrrr.

TiggyR Tue 12-Jan-10 16:51:33

Ah, but what you have all got to remember is that by government nutritional standards there would be no white bread, no salt whatsoever, no saturated fat, so no cheese or butter, no processed meats, so ham's out, only a tiny amount of tuna once a year (too much mercury) but no mayo to mix it with, no eggs, (salmonella, cholesterol) no added sugar including all that is found in any remotely appetising yoghurts, no peanut butter in case someone in the next building falls down dead when Tarquin unzips his coolbag, etc, etc,etc,.

So, unless you send your five year old in with two sticks of celery, some dry wholemeal bread sprinkled liberally with mung means and cress, a dried apricot and a cube of steamed tofu (also useful if they lose they pencil eraser) then you're fucked I mean stuffed.

E numbers, guar gum, aspartame, and transfats from dubious sources found in supposedly healthy 'low-salt low-fat' con-merchant foods, are however, perfectly acceptable by government standards.

TiggyR Tue 12-Jan-10 16:52:39

Sorry ImSoNotTelling, didn't read whole thread and just realised I'm making your point all over again!!!!

PeachyWillNeverVoteBNP Tue 12-Jan-10 16:54:27

Anoher agreement about exercise

They get 45 minutes lunch at ours chool if they get out on time,inclding eating and play. At my school we had 1.5 hours.

OrmIrian Tue 12-Jan-10 16:57:10

I suppose it is. But when you are spreading it on toast it doesn't matter much.

Tried vegemite once. I think my taste buds have forgiven me wink

TheCrackFox Tue 12-Jan-10 16:58:33

Would this be the same govt. that has sold thousands of acres of playing fields? Tossers.

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 16:59:14

'The sort of parents who send their child to school with a packet of Jaffa Cakes (happened at DS1's school) are not going to suddenly start making beef with and avocado and onion salad. '

This is the whole problem!! I would say the chances of this happening are nil! Initiative after initiative will make the caring parent feel guilty that their DC won't obediently tuck into rice salad at school, and that every other DC is happy to crunch raw vegetables rather than get out to play quick, but do nothing to the parent who has never eaten a vegetable in their life and doesn't cook!

I think that, rather than attacking packed lunches, it would be better to attack the culture of children eating out in UK. When mine were small I got almost apoplectic that a children's menu was sausage and chips, chicken nuggets and chips, fish and chips etc. WHY?! Why can't they just have smaller portions of the main menu?

onagar Tue 12-Jan-10 17:01:49

I read a report once about a possible downside to sugar substitutes. It had lots of technical terms I don't recall, but the general idea went something like this:

Mouth tastes (artificial) sweetness.

Body prepares to deal with sugar (insulin?)

No actual sugar appears so body demands sugar and you go have another snack.

No idea if this is proven, but it was interesting.

MollyRoger Tue 12-Jan-10 17:06:23

TiggyR you are spot on, sadly...

Morloth Tue 12-Jan-10 17:08:07

A fun activity is giving an American vegemite/marmite - they invariably react all horrified and then ask for some more...

edam Tue 12-Jan-10 17:08:54

yeah, crackfox, the local education authority is building on ds's primary school playing field. A sports hall for the high school next door, ironically enough... I did try to point out that if they don't get to run around at primary, they are not very likely to suddenly develop an interest in sport as teenagers, but the council weren't interested in the views of mere primary school governors.

MmeLindt Tue 12-Jan-10 17:19:03

I never give them anything that they need cutlery to eat, because otherwise I would have no cutlery left.

Occasionally they get some pizza or quiche but that is leftovers, not something that I prepare in the morning before school.

We have to be out of the house by 8am, no way am I getting up at 6am so that I can prepare mixed veg and rice salad that they would not eat anyway.

TiggyR Tue 12-Jan-10 17:20:29

By the government's traffic light system of healthy, moderately healthy and unhealthy foods you find ridiculous examples where perhaps a boiled egg sprinkled with salt, with buttered wholemeal soldiers or cheese and marmite on rye crackers, or a pile of veggie sticks dipped liberally into creamy dips or a homemade organic beef hamburger would be worse than, say, a packet of instant noodles followed by a pot of ready made sugar free jelly, and a can of diet coke. They amy indeed be low in fat and salt and possibly sugar, but then again they are nutrionally empty all round, and full of suspect crapola. The powers that be are so fat and salt obsessed, and though they pay lip service to not eating too much sugar they don't seem to get the connection that the carohydrate-heavy diet they tell us we should be giving our children is a major factor in the obesity epidemic.

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 17:24:12

I would far rather my ds had a home-made cake full of butter and sugar than a Low-fat, No Added Sugar processed cake full of chemical spread and aspartame!

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 17:25:42

And what's more both he and I would enjoy the home made cake far more.

TiggyR Tue 12-Jan-10 17:30:06

Agreed Snow. If people stop relying on heavily salt-laden over-processed chemical crap then there is no reason why a palatable, sensible amount of salt should not be added to homecooked fresh food. Likewise with butter, unless you consume a ridiculously greedy amount of bread and potatoes or pastry it's pretty hard to o/d on butter, so stick a knob on your broccoli and be proud. If it makes my kids eat their broccoli it's fine by me!

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 17:34:02

Exactly! We eat butter rather than so-called healthy spread, and also have sugar in some cakes, desserts etc. But I rarely buy anything processed. And ds eats almost every sort of veg (except cauliflower), quite a lot of salad and fruit, plus bread, pasta, rice, fish, chicken, meat etc, so I don't feel he is having an unhealthy or unbalanced diet.

Did anyone see the woman on gmtv who came on to talk about the story, the lunch box was a huge plain non buttered pitta with dry tuna, a piece of fruit and plain yoghurt, dd wouldnt eat that

Did laugh at the unhealthy one though, jam sandwich (dd loves jam blush ) a bottle of fizzy pop and a load of sweets, do people really send that, Ive never seen it?

piscesmoon Tue 12-Jan-10 17:56:34

Sadly they do, youwillnotwin, and it is very common.

DavidTennantAteMyHeart Tue 12-Jan-10 18:12:14

I heard Pru Leith on the radio as well this morning, pretending she didn't want to ban things.

My DS1 has an adequate lunchbox. He has one fruit snack and one veg snack each day, so I don't add any to his lunch if it's a sandwich.

He usually has a cheese sandwich in 50/50 bread (homemade). Sometimes he has pasta in a flask and I chuck some veg in with that. He likes the pasta but it does take him too long to eat enough to fill him.

He has a little savoury snack box but healthier stuff like oatcakes. Not crisps. When it's mini cheddars a small bag lasts three or four days wink.

And he has a home made fairy cake without icing virtually every day. I can't see how one eighteenth of a 2-egg cake mixture is going to lead to obesity, especially as he often doesn't finish it.

He and I would far rather he had a hot school meal but they are not available. At home he'll happily tuck into cottage pie, spag bol, fish pie and so on. Always with lots of veg.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 18:14:15

Mmmmm I melt a bit of butter on DDs veg she woofs it all down.

Food should be enjoyable. That is the other thing missing in a lot of these directives.

And <boak> at hydrogenated vegetable oil.

SnowMuchToBits Tue 12-Jan-10 19:39:55

Youwillnotwin- you may laugh at the jam sandwich lunch, but one of ds's friends always used to bring a chocolate spread sandwich (on white bread), a packet of crisps, and some sort of cake. He did have water to drink though.

Strix Tue 12-Jan-10 19:51:13

Yeah? Well 0% of the school dinners are healthy (unless of course they take their own initiative to exceed the government standards). So that put packed lunches way ahead of school dinners.

Bet they didn't look in our packed lunches when they did this survey!

Let's face it, I am not the only mum who refuses school dinners because they are made out of crap.

Goober Tue 12-Jan-10 19:55:19

My kids (and DH) have packed lunches BECAUSE I always cook for them at night. Thus making sure they get their 5 a day. If they eat a cake, biscuit or bag of crisps at lunchtime what does it matter as long as they get enough at the end of the day?
Everything in moderation.

slng Tue 12-Jan-10 20:10:38

LOL at suggested lunchboxes. I never eat brown rice. Brown rice has no place in my kitchen. Life is too short for brown rice (and don't tell me life will be too short if I don't eat brown rice).

DS1 had sushi today. Is that good or bad? Career women make quite decent lunchboxes, I'm sure.

But there's been several posts in other threads recommending bento boxes. It is the pinnacle of lunchboxing to which I aspire. grin

Strix Tue 12-Jan-10 20:25:13

Can we talk about the government standards which are not up to mine?

1. "Fresh bread" means crappy white bread andd it should not be offered to my children.
2. Salmon/tuna/other oil fish should be weekly not monthly.
3. Nutrasweet should never be on the menu (except for diabetics)
4. Veg needs to be mixed into the meal or it will be left on the side.
5. Pudding is not necesssary every day.

Shall I go on?

UniS Tue 12-Jan-10 20:34:55

Can' t see my DS eating much of teh sugested packlunches, bar the bread based bits and the meat. I think I'll carry on with sending him with a roll or sandwich (chese - stilton yesterday-, honey or peanut butter). a handfull of unsalted crisps , 3 thick cucumber rings or apple slices, and a viscount bisc or a fairy cake.

Mainly because that is teh only lunch he considers normal enough to eat. even at home.

lockets Tue 12-Jan-10 20:38:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Strix Tue 12-Jan-10 20:45:02

Can you guys send peanut butter???? envy

Dd today had a sandwich, fruit juice, yoghurt, piece of fruit and a small piece of homemade cake.
school dinners today was chips sausage and beans with cake and custard for pudding, yep my dds packed lunch wasnt ideal but seems better than the school dinner!

My dd's school meals are probably really healthy, the problem being that they get to choose their meals, so 9 times out of 10 my dd will choose either the sandwich or baked potato option with an occasional pizza or chicken dish thrown in.

I do school meals atm because I haven't done a shop and I can't be bothered. But I fail to see how a school cheese butty and bit of cake or whatever is better than the meals I provide, not to mention the fact that it in no way shape or form costs £1.90 to provide these meals.

Dd would usually have some kind of sandwich/roll/pitta/wrap, carrot/cucumber sticks with dip, one or two pieces of fruit, some kind of yoghurt/ and some other thing, maybe a muffin or biscuit or boiled egg etc along with drink. I realise now reading this thread that this is far too much food and will pare down. When I get my arse in gear to actually do packed lunches lol.

Oh and we have been castigated before for sending in chocolate biscuits etc (pile o wank) although crisps have gone unremarked on hmm.

Oh and brown rice can burn in hell as far as I care. Evil fecking stuff (remembers the bhf diet from when I was young and stupid).

AvengingGerbil Tue 12-Jan-10 21:01:00

Youwillnotwin - that's what really gets my goat - they've succeeded in persuading you that your perfectly good lunch is 'not ideal'.

It's like those weekly pieces in the Observer mag by Dr John 'Killjoy' Briffa looking in somebody's shopping bag and telling them that they should only be eating brown rice, purified water and broccoli tended by vegan Ra-worshippers and that everything else is 'risky', 'unhealthy', a 'poor choice' etc etc.

The ideal lunch for my (admittedly very picky) DS is bread (white) and butter (salted) with Marmite, and some carrot sticks. As it's all he will eat, I'd rather give him that than wholemeal bread with some pre-approved salt-free filling which would go striaght in the bin and he'd go hungry. (Like an earlier poster, mine would rather not eat at all than eat something unacceptable.)

Sometimes, just getting food into them is good enough.

Blu Tue 12-Jan-10 21:02:26

I obv have poncetastic credentials, as avocado is regulary in DS's lunch as it's one of the few cold fruits or veg he will eat, it makes a v quick sandwich, or he has it in chunks in a v small tupperware, and eats it with a cocktail stick - it doesn't go brown.

But that 'suggested' list is ludicrous.

slng Tue 12-Jan-10 21:05:43

My white bread is made with milk and is full of calcium. Sometimes they even contain sneaked-in wholemeal flour or seeds and stuff. But I probably should make wholemeal bread more often. << makes belated new year resolution >>

slng Tue 12-Jan-10 21:06:46

Blu - does it really not go brown? Do you have to doctor it with lemon juice or something? Am thinking of putting it in my sushi. Is that poncy too?

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 21:28:24

Oooh yes reveal avocado trick please!

edam Tue 12-Jan-10 21:48:46

I wish ds would eat avocado. Just because I like them but end up not buying them because I'd end up with leftovers going off in the fridge. And they are easy to use in sandwiches (although I wouldn't have avocado on its own, personally).

edam Tue 12-Jan-10 21:54:33

I think the government's got a flaming cheek, tbh, the only reason we have nutritional standards for school meals is because a few campaigners pointed out the state was feeding children slops. We can't trust them to feed children actual food - how on earth do they have the front to turn round and lecture us?:

ImSoNotTelling Tue 12-Jan-10 22:39:38

It's misdirection - to draw attention away from what jamie's school dinners brought to the fore.

Keep the mummies on the back foot by tellin them that they are BAD if they are not providing a different hand crafted organic meal every day and they won't have time or strength to tackle or notice the school dinners thing.

They haven't seen this thread eh.

Can't we send it to someone, what with MN apparently being all powerful these days?

Concordia Tue 12-Jan-10 23:01:25

to be honest i am grateful that DS eats anything at all for his packed lunch.
he is tiny, and skinny, below 1st percentile on weight- have been to doc but she isn't too bothered
he is such a faddy eater.
never has snack in nursery - it's banana or apple mummy i don't like it
when he went he was supposed to be having school dinners. refused to eat anything for the whole day - 9-3, well at 2.30 they were really worried and said 'we snuck him a biscuit at 2.30 he ate that'
says, i won't eat school dinners they're hot, i don'nt like hot food - indeed only eats stone cold food.
really just wants to eat ham sandwiches, with teh right kind of ham and the right kind of bread every day.
i thought it was a tremendous breakthrough when he started to eat-
ham and cheese sandwiches with bertolli spread
and wraps with ham in
he now eats grapes at nursery, but rarely at home, i eat them in nursery mummmy'
honestly sometimes i wonder if he has aspergers / asc with this approach to eating
or maybe he is just a very fussy three year old
i send in a small pack of 4 mini (very mini) jammy dodgers or similar as otherwise he would barely eat anything.

midori1999 Wed 13-Jan-10 00:04:36

I think all the lunchbox policing is a cheek and a joke, tbh. School dinners aren't that healthy, IMO.

I have heard my DS say his friends lunchboxes include dairylea lunchables instead of sanwiches and the also get chocolate bars in theirs.

His lunchbox usually includes:

- wholemeal bread sandwich or wholewheat crackers with cheese.
- cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks or cucumber or pepper etc. or olives
- cheese cubes if not in his sandwich, or a yoghurt
-piece of fruit.

He drinks water and a couple of times a week I substitute one of the above with either a home made cake or flapjack or a packet of mini maryland cookies or something. The rest varies a bit, but is basically always similar.

I really don't see the harm in occasiona treats, provided the rest of the childs diet is healthy.

mamath Wed 13-Jan-10 03:42:03

you may remember that choosing some numbers to add together to form a data nod to a leading question... does not constitute research just because you put a % at the end of it.


Parents capable of making lunch
uk family resource

TiggyR Wed 13-Jan-10 07:24:42

Like everything else with this government it's do as I say not as I do.

OrmIrian Wed 13-Jan-10 08:20:07

Just read the Independent article and someone mentioned broccoli spears. Oh what a sense of humour they must have hmm

saggyhairyarse Wed 13-Jan-10 09:50:12

My DS has the same very day:

Cheese or Marmite sandwich/wrap (Marmite was frowned upon).
Fig roll/fairy cake/biscuit

Some of his friends have the choc/crisps/crap sandwich lunch and DS reports back with a hmm face.

No way my DC would eat brown rice and mango salad or some such poncey bollocks!

DD has school dinners and I am often hmm about her meals. She has pizza, bread roll, mash, sponge cakes (carb, carb, carb, carb) and the veg choice seems to be sweetcorn every day BUT my DD likes a cooked dinner and rarely ate her packed lunch. I am also a bit cynical about the quality of the ingredients, particularly the meat. Is the roast meat still that reformed meat shaped into slices, covered in gravy that comes in plastic? What quality are the sausages/meat pie fillers etc. I suspect they are the cheapest of the cheap.

slng Wed 13-Jan-10 09:55:58

Broccoli spears grin. Surprised they don't include fois gras and caviar.

Anyway they should be eating seasonal and local, so what's all this nonsense about mango, and fresh tomato in winter ffs. They should be eating cabbage.

threestars Wed 13-Jan-10 10:00:06

I've asked DS what other children in his class have in their packed lunches, so I can steal ideas and I have to say, that apart from one or two kids, they all have pretty healthy lunches.

He has to bring home the food he doesn't eat, so I know exactly what he has/hasn't eaten, and since hardly anyone has chocolate or crisps, he doesn't want them in his packed lunch (herd mentality and all that).

gorionine Wed 13-Jan-10 10:08:18

I think "experimenting" with lunch boxes is silly, there is too much risk of the child not eating anything from it and it would really defeat the purpose of "healthy" if they look at it but do not touch it.

I think the content also differs because of cultural issues. My Dcs would be fine with falafels because it is the type of food we would it at home anyway but they would struggle to eat mushy peas for example. I do not put crisps in their lunchbox because were I grew up we only had crisps if we were going for a picnic and it does not even come into my mind to do so. I would probaby not think twice about giving them some if I had had them myself at the same age.

gorionine Wed 13-Jan-10 10:11:35

sorry, posteed too soon, threestars, mine have to take back the non eaten food too which is one of the reason I like lunchboxes, I know exactly what they had and how to compendate in the evening. Also, if it happens to be a fruit they have not eaten, they usually eat it on the way back home .

gorionine Wed 13-Jan-10 10:13:01

would it OMG would eat of course!

<backs away in shame!>

purpleduck Wed 13-Jan-10 10:31:31

My dcs have a dessert EVERY DAY in their lunch.

If someone gave me a pear and called it "dessert" I would feel totally ripped off.

I hate hate hate these kind of studies. Once again, parents get it in the neck.

MaggieMnaSneachta Wed 13-Jan-10 10:33:20

it depends how high the bar is?

my kids both got cheese and ham on brown bread with olivio spread, a banana/pair and watered down juice.

I know some children will eat carrot battons but mine won't.

ShinyAndNew Wed 13-Jan-10 10:49:02

Are they planning on 'banning' 'unhealthy' foods from lucnh boxes then? I am sure I saw something about this on the local news at work last night. But of course I was busy working hard so I didn't see all of it grin

I think it's all starting to get a bit ridiculous tbh, this healthy eating lark. Dd1 has packed lunches mainly because I like to monitor what she is eating. Also because we have had trouble getting her to eat enough to maintain her weight since weaning. Atm, she is not too bad. Slightly under weight, but not alarmingly so. As she has been in the past. She is not under any specialist atm. She needs quick, high energy food to get her through the day and keep her energy and weight up. School dinners don't achieve this. She doesn't eat them.

The school have commented a few times that she is tired and lethargic after lunch. After telling them for the millionth time this is because she won't eat, they do supervise her more, and ensure she at least eats something.

There is no way her lunch box would pass healthy eating standards. But it is healthy for her. When is the government going to realise that there isn't a one size fits all solution to healthy eating?

Normally her packed lunch contains:

Peanut butter sandwhich on best of both bread (she won't eat brown bread)
2 home made flap jacks (with fruit and nuts)
A packet of raisins
Full fat yoghurt
Apple juice carton.

If I started messing about with falafel, avacados and god knows what, there is no way she would eat it.

On the occassions where she is not eating much and is becoming ill, we do put cakes and chocolate in, just to get the calories in there, in the form of something she will eat.

Today she has crisps. People seem to be panick buying bread around here, and having not had the time to go the supermarket her lunch is from the sandwhich shop. Which is crisps, cheese savoury sarnie with lettuce, capri sun, a blueberry muffin and a banana.

gorionine Wed 13-Jan-10 11:13:01

I so agree with you WRT ""There is no way her lunch box would pass healthy eating standards. But it is healthy for her. When is the government going to realise that there isn't a one size fits all solution to healthy eating?"" shineyAndMew.

BTW some foods are already banned, I have (well DH has as I could not be trusted to keep "cool" enough) had a chat with HT telling her that it was not to ennoy her or to purposly disrespect the school food policy (introduced AFTER DD1 had started school) but that we took great care into insuring that our Dcs had a balanced diet and were taking great offence to be told what we could or not feed them. On top of being swelt, naturally, they are the DCs that live te furthest away from the school who still walk there (1.2 miles, not very far but still more exercice than driven to school DCS) To the exeption of one teacher I mentionned in a previous post, nobody said anything to us when giving some "banned" food after that discussion.

DD1 is 11, her BMI is 13 (I think for children it is considered obese when over 19 but not quite sure) I am so not going to give her 0% fat yogurts!

OrmIrian Wed 13-Jan-10 11:22:18

QUite agree purpleduck! Dessert? Pear? Fark off! grin It has to have sugar and fat to be a proper pudd.

Highlander Wed 13-Jan-10 11:29:53

DS1 has the same lucnh, every day. Deviation is not tolerated wink

Philly cheese on home-made wholewheat bread

Red Grapes

Soreen malt loaf

Carton of smoothie or whole fruit juice.

TiggyR Wed 13-Jan-10 11:31:19

Shiny, if your DS is tired and lethargic after lunch it may not be that she is not eating enough, just that she is eating too many white carbs. Some people juast don't metabolise them well, and there would be little worse for sending you to sleep in the afternoon than a lunch of starchy foods like pasta, potatoes or white bread followed by a sugary pud. She'd just have a massive sugar crash.

Saggyhairyarse, I agree about the sweetcorn, they keep churning it out because it's the only veg universally tolerated by children. I was furious when my son who was at junior school at the time, was offered potatoes AND spaghetti hoops, but then had to choose between peas or carrots and couldn't have both! What crap meal planning is that then? You should not be offering pasta and potatoes together in the first place, but to limit veg to a child who actually wants to eat it?!!

The other thing that annoys me is people getting their knickers in a twist over ketchup. Providing you buy good quality ketchup the ingredients are not remotely scary and your kids will benefit from huge doses of cancer-protecting lycopene, as if they were regularly munching through whole crates of tomatoes - and how many kids want to do that? All three of mine won't touch fresh tomatoes, or tinned.
Yes, ketchup is it's high in sugar, but we should be looking to cut their sugar intake in foods that are otherwise nutrionally empty, like sweets and biscuits before we ban that!

ShinyAndNew Wed 13-Jan-10 11:39:00

Tiggy, she wasn't eating any white carbs. She wasn't eating anything other than her banana.

Blu Wed 13-Jan-10 12:21:52

slng: no the avocado seems to keep OK til lunchtime. It's quite tightly packed in a small tupperware. In a sandwich it is fine too. smile I do it in the morning, not the night before.

MaggieMnaSneachta Wed 13-Jan-10 12:32:41

OrmIrian, yes, we could all put broccoli in to our chidlren's lunch boxes! and broccoli sales would go up, but consumption of broccoli would remain unchanged!!

morningpaper Wed 13-Jan-10 12:34:52

I am going to start sending DD in with a lunchbox of plastic fruit

newpup Wed 13-Jan-10 13:11:33

My dds have a varied and healthy packed lunch every day (although they never get onion and roast beef grin) They used to have school dinners twice a week but I stopped them having then. They were so unhealthy.
Usual offerings were burnt pizza slices, chips, chipped potatoes, oven baked sliced potatoes (hmmm theme emerging here) and iced buns for pud. The portions were tiny, the veg overcooked and they were only allowed one veg choice even if they asked for extra veg! It was very poor quality and the menu was very misleading. The actual food served was nothing like the menu.

I would really resent the school interfering in my role of feeding my child when their own food options are appalling low in nutritional value.

I also feel that if the teachers would like to lead by example and clear the staff room of all the cakes, biscuits,coke and coffee and replace it with the cheap meat, overcooked veg and junk puddings they should feel free!

slng Wed 13-Jan-10 13:23:30

Blu - thanks! I usually do the packed lunch in the morning too. And I always feel like a deserve a medal/large brandy when all this pack-lunch-get-kids-ready-get-to-school-and-nursery-on-time-get-to-work-on-time business is over everyday. So if anyone dares to cast aspersion on my packed lunch I usually cosh them over the 'ead with a 'eavy-'eaded 'ammer.

slng Wed 13-Jan-10 13:24:25

I deserve, not a deserve.

imaginewittynamehere Wed 13-Jan-10 13:37:18

Strix, I couldn't agree more! Many of the things on those suggested lunchbox menus seem to be processed food (note in tiny writing at bottom reads "The costing and preparation time associated with this product are based on the product being pre-made and purchased from a supermarket.")

Strix Wed 13-Jan-10 13:57:33

I asked our school dinners provider (Sodexho, Joules menu) for a list of ingredients. They refused to provide it. So either they don't know what is in their food, or they don't want me to know. Neither of those possibilities is acceptable to me.

If the school wants to tell me what to put in my kids' lunchboxes, they best be prepared to present theirs to me for my instruction.

However, the Head Teacher is aware of nutritional persnicketiness so I doubt she she would really ever want to broach the subject with me.

Strix Wed 13-Jan-10 14:19:35

And another thing...

What this article actually says is "Only 1% of primary schoolchildren's packed lunches meet "the nutritional standards set for school meals in England", which is not the same thing as "healthy".

Pitchounette Wed 13-Jan-10 14:38:59

Message withdrawn

Loubilou09 Wed 13-Jan-10 15:47:23

I remember when my daughter started school and she wanted school dinners but after 2 weeks quickly gave up and I was very pleased as all she seemed to be given was pizza, chips and chocolate pudding. We also have a ban on chocolate, sweets, crips and fizzy drinks for lunchboxes and I do adhere to it but many don't! My husband often gives our daugther a bit of chocolate but nearly every time it gets noticed by a lunch monitor and she is not allowed to eat it which I think is grossly unfair when those eating school lunches are eating chocolate pudding! The school lunch monitors say that chocolate is not allowed as some children are allergic, so it begs me to ask what sort of E numbers/flavourings are being used for the chocolate pudding if proper chocolate is not being used?

I vary lunchboxes but include

Either sandwich or roll with butter only or jam (daughter doesn't like filling in her sandwiches) or a pitta with cucumber, or a piece of crusty bread or a replacement for a bread such as a few low fat sausage rolls and some chicken satay's (horror of horrors!)

Then I add some fruit/veg - some days just strawberries or cucumber or grapes or melon and some days two or three things other days nothing - depends what's in.

Babybel or cheese string or hunk of cheddar, or breadsticks with cream cheese - whatever daughter likes at the moment, she changes her taste often!

Sometimes she gets a pepperami or some ham or a mini scotch egg instead of the cheese - again depends whats in.

Yoghurts - frubes, petit filous, mini muller's again dependant what's in

Occasionally I put in a packet of crisps, usually on a friday when cupboard stocks are llow, sometimes I put in a few jaffa cakes or a couple of jammie dodgers - again depends on how low the cupboard stocks are.

lljkk Wed 13-Jan-10 15:58:50

DC have:
1 cheesestring
1 Pepperami sausage (so protein, eh?)
1/2 butter sarnie (sometimes with fruit spread or sliced cucumber)
1 biscuit.

In addition, DS-5yo, the hungrier child, usually has apple juice and maybe an orange or some grapes.

They don't eat yogurt in lunchboxes, DD doesn't eat fruit in her lunch box, it may not be wonderful but it's not horrendous, is it? Lunch is the high-point of the school day, I'm inclined to indulge a bit esp. as DS hates school.

They have crisps as afterschool snack every day, mind blush.

tanmu82 Thu 14-Jan-10 10:49:09

an average packed lunch for my DC's is as follows:

piece of fruit
yoghurt (frube/petit filous/mini mueller corner/pro-biotic drink)
packet of crisps
peanut butter/cheese/ham sandwhich

I put crisps in my DC's packed lunch every day unless they have a flapjack or biscuit instead. I will not be made to feel like a bad mother becuase I do so. My children are very active (DS plays football 3 times a week and still bounces around the house like tigger. DD also plays football and never keeps still)
DD is quite a fussy eater and won't have cheese/ham/chicken/turkey/beef etc in a sandwich. This means he sometimes eats the same peanut butter sandwich every day for weeks on end. I would rather this than he ate nothing at all.

I cook a healthy hot meal every evening from scratch, including plenty of vegetables and salads. They also have a pudding most nights, but this is often fruit or yoghurt or something homebaked.

I don't want my kids to be worrying about calories and fat at their young age. I want them to enjoy a variety of food and not worry about certain foods being 'bad'.

tanmu82 Thu 14-Jan-10 10:53:43

soory DS is a fussy eater

thirdname Thu 14-Jan-10 19:16:24

well too much cheese, meat with salt, jam peanutbutter are all BAD (too much fat/sugar

thirdname Thu 14-Jan-10 19:16:59

watermelon no good, glycaemic index too high

Strix Fri 15-Jan-10 07:10:23

Peanut butter is good for children (who aren't allergic). It is a great source protein which won't go off between the time it is made and the time it is eaten. I hate that we can't send nuts into school, but of course understand why. However, I will never understand the logic that says peanut butter and cheese are bad but super refined and chemical loaded pudding every day is good. hmm

MrsMattie Fri 15-Jan-10 13:38:31

Ham sandwich on wholemeal bread, a banana, an apple, yoghurt, apple juice in my DS's packed lunch today. I'm not stupid.

I know that ham (even 'nice' ham grin) = processed meat and that the apple juice and probably the yoghurt are high in fruit sugars. But my DS is fussy and likes these things and they aren't exactly evil when part of a week's worth of varied, mainly healthy foods.

I wish all these lunchbox bores would bore right off.

Grumpyoldcaaaaaaaa Sun 17-Jan-10 15:52:53

DD1's class were last to lunch on Friday, she's having school dinners at her request.

The only things left were coldish chips and cheese.

Even she was a bit hmm.

It just made me laugh, reminiscent of my school dinners of yore <adjusts blanket laid across old lady knees>.

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