How long do they get to eat lunch?

(17 Posts)
Wrecktum Mon 03-Aug-15 18:00:13

DD (4.5) starts Reception next month. She's REALLY slow at mealtimes. It's a chore for her. Was just wondering how long they're typically given to tackle lunch? I was guessing half an hour. (Thought I might buy a 30-mins egg timer and practice a bit in advance)

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Aug-15 18:03:41

I think you need to aim to 20 minutes so that she's not still eating while her friends are going off to play (or everyone on her table is waiting for her to finish)

addictedtosugar Mon 03-Aug-15 18:06:55

Our school have said it can take over an hour in the early days, but I suspect that is from the first YR being served to the 90th finishing eating.

School should give them time in the early days, and does it really matter if she only eats half? DS2 is slow here, but has cleared his plate most days at preschool (2 days a week), and will be moving to reception at the same school.

Artandco Mon 03-Aug-15 18:08:06

30 mins. However most meals at sons school are fairly ' easy' to eat. Ie lamb casserole and mash potato, or chicken curry and rice, so no cutting really involved. I think school does this so they can just shovel in and go!

leccybill Mon 03-Aug-15 18:10:19

1 hr 15 min for lunch then play. DD (going into Year One) is the slowest eater in the world and was usually the last one in the dinner hall but she didn't mind and no one rushed her.

Heels99 Mon 03-Aug-15 18:14:19

Much less time since meals became free, they do two sittings at our school as they have 300 infants to get through the dining hall

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 03-Aug-15 18:19:20

Our new starters get about 20 minutes. 15 minutes on their own, 5 after the bell with other classes.

She'll speed up to go and play with her friends anyway.

Wrecktum Mon 03-Aug-15 18:40:37

Many thanks, everyone! Addicted - no, it doesn't matter a jot. She's only ever eaten half her packed lunch at nursery anyway. Now she can eat half of a hot lunch I didn't have to prepare myself. Bonus.

notasgreenasimcabbagelooking Mon 03-Aug-15 18:41:55

In.my P1 class we aim for 20mins by the end of the year! But...they really can't have endless time even at the start as that would make the playground supervision "short". We do our best to give them as long as possible but there are times when we do have to "call time" & pack the lunch away (in NI so no free dinners). I can't even sit with the stragglers as lunch time supervisors are thin on the ground where I teach.....so I'm one of them too! I do the "outside" bit and a colleague does the dinner hall so we get 15/20 mins each to eat and pee!

Wrecktum Mon 03-Aug-15 20:34:18

Thanks, notas. With a bit of luck she'll suss that if you eat your lunch you get more play time etc. Appreciate the inside info.

ButterflyUpSoHigh Mon 03-Aug-15 20:47:14

15 minutes at ours as there are two sittings.

MMmomKK Mon 03-Aug-15 21:30:43

Dd1 started YR as a very slow eater. She used to report that she never managed to finish lunch at school and sometimes they'd let her to stay in with another year group.

Now (just finished Y3) we call her a "Hoover" at dinner time at home. I have to remind her to slow down.

Same hasn't yet happened with DD2 (just finished YR). Eating is like a torture to her. Don't know how she gets by at school but doesn't report being hungry...

fleurdelacourt Tue 04-Aug-15 10:07:28

dd was the very slowest in nursery -but loved it as it meant she finished her lunch surrounded by the 'big' girls who made a fuss of her!

I don't think I'd make a big deal of it with your dd - don't want to stress her? (eating while being timed doesn't sound very relaxing?) - she'll soon get used to it?

BikeRunSki Tue 04-Aug-15 10:14:00

Wreck ds was terribly slow at eating and terribly picky about what he ate, and had similar concerns to you when he started school (2 years ago). Peer pressure and dinner ladies are wonderful things and he was eating most of his lunch, most of the time within a few weeks. They get stickers for finishing all their food too, which is a great incentive!

OldBeanbagz Tue 04-Aug-15 10:19:00

My DS's school has three sittings over an hour long lunch break. I think the little ones have 20-25 minutes of this. They get faster as they get older.

My DS was also a very slow eater when he started school but has somehow managed to keep up with his peers.

BackforGood Tue 04-Aug-15 19:44:57

IME, Reception tend to be taken in early in the first week or two, as they know they take longer to start with, but, once they get going, most dc can't sit for longer than about 15mins, as there are other children to get through the dining hall.

Emochild Wed 05-Aug-15 23:24:29

In theory all the children get 20 minutes eating time and 40 mins playing

In reality they stagger the children in starting with reception first, year 6 last

Year 6 get about 30 seconds to inhale their lunch before the afternoon bell goes

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