"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!

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>.

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.

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

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

watermelon no good, glycaemic index too high

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

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

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

soory DS is a fussy eater

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

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

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

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'.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn

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".

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.

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.")

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

I deserve, not a deserve.

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.

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!

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

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

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!!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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
Banana
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.

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