Sugary pudding after school lunch everyday - acceptable?

(49 Posts)
choceyes Fri 06-Sep-13 23:08:36

I think I might be more of a health freak than the average person, so I am wondering whether my concerns are justified.

DS who just started reception has had 2 school meals so far and apparently there is cake and custard or similar every day. School didn't have a copy of the menu for the next few weeks, but the last 2 days have been mince, mashed potato and broccoli and fish fingers, beans and potato wedges. Don't know if these are made on site or (quality of fish fingers can vary greatly I think) nobody seems to know. In fact very little information given as to the quality of food.
School meal is £2.25.

Am wondering whether to go the packed lunch route. I like DS having school dinners as I'd like him to enjoy different kinds of food, but with the school not even forthcoming with a menu I don't know what the heck they are feeding him! I'm certainly not happy with cake or biscuits everyday - I don't deny him things like this, but not everyday coupled with a substandard main meal.

Any thoughts?

have you checked your local council website as ours publishes the menus online?

p.s. our school has the cake and custard puddings too or a selection of home baking and I dont mind if dd has either of them (ds tends to have a packed lunch)

snice Fri 06-Sep-13 23:23:20

most of the cakes/puddings served at my childrens school are very low sugar-they taste quite weird when you're not used to them.

shebird Fri 06-Sep-13 23:30:20

I do for a mix of both packed lunches and school dinners. I usually do school dinners maybe once or twice a week when we have an activity after school so they will not be as hungry in the evening. Both my DDs are god eaters and not fussy except when it comes to school dinners they are like food critics. They only like the roast dinner and one or two other meals so I don't waste my money.

BackforGood Fri 06-Sep-13 23:44:31

Up to you entirely - we all make different decision for our dc, but I honestly don't think a small pudding (have you seen the size of the portions ?) with their midday meal is going to lead them into a life of debauchery. There often is a cake - who remembers chocolate concrete - mmmm smile, but sometimes they opt for a yoghurt or piece of fruit instead.

specialmagiclady Sat 07-Sep-13 00:02:57

This annoys me a bit - my kids have a choice of cake or a piece of fruit. Of course they will choose cake. Why not have a pudding that incorporates some fruit - apple sponge or raspberry pie etc.

KittenCaboodle Sat 07-Sep-13 00:04:24

We mix and match. I tend to agree with you, so two school dinners a week is the limit for mine. I send hot food in Aladdin bento boxes sometimes, so packed lunch doesn't necessarily = cold food.

My dc don't even like all the sugary puds so frequently choose a (low sugar grimness) flavoured yogurt, which they think is heaven, as I serve natural yogurt with actual fruit at home!

soapboxqueen Sat 07-Sep-13 02:26:28

Assuming that your dc's school is not an academy or free school then the meals have to follow certain nutritional standards. The cakes will contain fruit or veg like beetroot but will be hidden. As pp said, some of it can taste a bit odd of you aren't used to it.

mrz Sat 07-Sep-13 07:36:03

Perhaps you need to find out what is in the cake and custard - I know our's is virtually sugar (and taste) free.

choceyes Sat 07-Sep-13 07:37:39

Thanks for the responses.
What bothers me is the complete lack of information about these school meals. No menus, no info as to how fresh it is, no samples to look at etc. The cake might well have beetroot in it ( that reminds me I was going to make a chocolate beetroot cake this weekend! ) but nobody seems to know!

Can't mix and match packed lunches and school dinners at this school. They ask for 2 weeks notice if you want to switch between them. Otherwise I would have done 3 days of packed lunches and 2 days school dinners.

WipsGlitter Sat 07-Sep-13 07:44:05

I think samples is veering off into the PFB territory a bit!

Are you sure the menu isn't somewhere. Our school has it pinned on a random noticeboard.

mrz Sat 07-Sep-13 07:44:40

Many school kitchens are run by outside companies - contracted by the LEA and not the school but they have to follow government guidelines regarding sugar/salt/fat content.

I'll say it again, have you checked your council website as the menu may be on there?

choceyes Sat 07-Sep-13 07:56:39

I assumed some responders on this thread have seen and tasted the school meals to say that cake is lower in sugar etc that's what I meant by samples.

I asked at the school office for a menu but they said they didn't have one available and would ask the chef. Apparently hardlt any parents requests a menu
This school has s high take up of FSM so maybe that's why.

choceyes Sat 07-Sep-13 07:57:52

Yes I checked the council website, but there is an out of date menu on there.

meditrina Sat 07-Sep-13 08:00:20

The puddings sound very like the sort of school meal provided in the 50s and 60s. As does the main course, though I don't remember getting the same thing two days running.

That's the diet of the generation which is causing the longevity boom, and in which the obesity crisis is less acute than the younger generation (who are warned they might not outlive their parents).

I'd stick with the school dinners. But would press for a daily change of main course on no less than a two week rotation. Who provides the meals? And who let the school contract?

friday16 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:19:33

"The puddings sound very like the sort of school meal provided in the 50s and 60s. As does the main course, though I don't remember getting the same thing two days running.

That's the diet of the generation which is causing the longevity boom,"

Quite. There is a good argument that a diet consisting of nothing, or little, of (bad thing X) is bad for you. There is some argument that a diet that contains quite a lot of (bad thing X) is bad for you. But to get obsessive to the point of thinking that a small portion of a sugary desert five times per week is a problem worth obsessing over is the stuff of which eating disorders is made.

Most of the crank advice about sugar is wrong. It isn't addictive, poisonous, etc, etc. If it provides a significant proportion of the calories in your diet, that's a warning sign, although not an absolute red flag; wartime and immediate post-war diets had a lot of the calories coming from sugars and hard fats, and as medi says, that's the generation that has experienced a massive increase in life expectancy, which is often held to be partially due to their childhood diet.

There's a happy medium, and obsessing about the content of a small desert only eaten five times a week seems to be over that line.

headinhands Sat 07-Sep-13 08:46:57

'This school have a high take up of FSM so maybe that's why'

Ooh benefits bashing by stealth op.

keepsmiling12345 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:25:32

OP, do explain your FSM comment please. It reads as if you are saying that parents of children having FSM don't care about nutrition...a somewhat sweeping and offensive generalisation.
And yes, I agree with the previous poster that expecting "samples" is definitely PFB territory. There are guidelines that school lunches have to follow. The school has said it will provide you a menu after speaking with the chef. The council display an out of date one so presumably will display the new one when available. If, after seeing all that, you a still concerned then you can do packed lunches. Each to their own.

WipsGlitter Sat 07-Sep-13 09:52:03

Because people on FSM don't care about what their kids eat? I'm sure you didn't mean it like that...

mrz Sat 07-Sep-13 09:56:32

How do you know it is an out of date menu? Our menus work on a cycle so there is a menu for week 1 a different menu for week 2 a different menu for week 3 ... then back to week 1 menu ... and the LEA and school provide just one as a sample not necessarily the one for that particular week

our current menu has followed on from the menu at the end of last year so we finished the last school term on week 3 of the old menu and have started the new school year on week 1 of the same menu. The menu will change to the winter menu in the middle of October. We are on a 3 week rolling menu too.

spanieleyes Sat 07-Sep-13 10:03:53

The reason some on the thread have tasted school meals isn't because they have asked for samples ( confused ) but perhaps because they are teachers!
In my school, we eat once a week with the children and, if there is ANY sugar in the puddings it is well hidden!

we got invited to the school to taste a sample school dinner when the kids first started in P1. I think I had mince and potatoes 3 years ago when ds started school - was quite tasty!

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