Same size school dinners for a reception and Y6?!

(38 Posts)
grants1000 Mon 28-Jan-13 19:00:32

My eldest DS is in Y6 and is complaining his school dinner is not enough and he is still hungry, so I have been giving him extra bits. I had not really thought about it before, but reception children are getting the same size portion as a Y6 size 6 feet growing at a huge rate 10/11 year old whoose very tall!! We all pay the same amount per school dinner, so I don't feel I can make the suggestion they get more, or can I? Or should I just accept it as the way it is and give him extra food? He has a banana, or a Babybel, fruisli bar or little ham sarnie.

learnandsay Mon 28-Jan-13 19:09:44

If you're giving him a school dinner and a packed lunch why not stop the dinners and just give him a packed lunch?

mrz Mon 28-Jan-13 19:10:57

Would you be happy if a restaurant gave you less because you were smaller than the man at the table.

grants1000 Mon 28-Jan-13 19:26:44

He likes the school dinners. It is not a question of being bigger or smaller, 11 year old active boys need more food that 4 year old boys - it's a given! I have a 5 yo boy also and at home they eat different portion sizes. I am not saying he should get more for the same price, but just question the logic of having the same portion size for children 7/8 years apart in age, not one size fits all. Maybe because this is the way it's always been done it needs a new thought process!

mrz Mon 28-Jan-13 19:34:23

and the bigger man on the next table at the restaurant is an athlete so needs more than you although you are both paying the same price.

FionaJT Mon 28-Jan-13 19:37:20

My dd'd school do 2 sittings - infants first, then juniors, and then the juniors get the chance for seconds if they are still hungry.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 28-Jan-13 19:40:43

Our school charges 30p a day extra in year 4,5&6 for bigger portions

cumbrialass Mon 28-Jan-13 19:55:03

Our dinner ladies give the little children slightly smaller portions and the larger ones slightly larger, they also get first go at the seconds too! However the portions are very generous and there is NO WAY the younger children can get through all they are given-the left overs go to feed the chickens!

mrz Mon 28-Jan-13 19:59:27

It isn't a given that an older child needs more than a younger child there are lots of variables. Some children may arrive at school hungry and school lunch could be their only meal for example.
We briefly had a cook who gave the reception children less than older children. Result hungry children and unhappy parents.

learnandsay Mon 28-Jan-13 20:02:44

Is this a general problem at the school or a case of one hungry boy?

florry88 Mon 28-Jan-13 20:05:17

I would mention it to the council, the school whoeveris in charge or parent council etc. Maybe they have not thought of it and theres an easy solution , hopefully!

GotAnyGrapes Tue 29-Jan-13 13:31:30

In reality an 11yr old does usually have a bigger appetite than a 4or 5yr old. School dinners are often small portions though so if you feel it's not adequate, then send him wit a packed lunch. Only 2 terms to go!

The biggest travesty is the tendency for lunchtime staff to give larger portions to the boys than the girls. As a deputy head, I had to speak to the cook to say that's not on. It annoyed female staff too the male teachers were given more to eat.

OldBeanbagz Tue 29-Jan-13 13:38:58

My DCs school has small, medium & large portions which are charged at the same price.

Both my two (Y3 & Y6) go for small (or medium when it's one of their favourites) but i have seen some of the smallest kids eat a large portion that would probably defeat me!

Does your DS take a snack for breaktime? Our school allows fruit or veg and it's helps to keep the kid going until lunchtime.

I'd mention it to his teacher and see if it's just your son or if others are complaining too. In which case, ask them to do something about it.

PastSellByDate Tue 29-Jan-13 14:52:20

Hi grants1000:

Check school dinner policy. At our school the hot meal (or cold sandwich option - which is an alternative to hot meal) is the same size for all. But KS2 pupils are allowed to go back to the salad bar for raw veg (& sometimes fruit) as much as they like.

Also at end of each serving session - children are told if there are any leftovers and asked to come and get it. Which is part of a school policy to avoid waste. It may be extra baked potatoes (which they cut up to share) or extra curry, etc... - and they can just help themselves.

These things might be going on - but your DS hasn't really understood it applies to him - so might be worth asking. Also usually schools have a parents to lunch day - so it may be an idea to go along and see what is on offer - your DS may be making poor choices, which are less filling.


narmada Tue 29-Jan-13 22:50:13

The relevant guidance encourages that school dinner portions should be adjusted to reflect the diffetent caloric needs of different age groups. To serve the same amount to 4- year olds and 10 year olds is bonkers.

There is also a misapprehension sometimes that seconds should nit be offered. There is NO national 'ban' on serving seconds.

narmada Tue 29-Jan-13 22:50:47

Not, not nit grin

grants1000 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:08:43

I have spoken to his teacher and she said other have mentioned it too, as well as that quite a few of the boys are having a period of growth at the moment, some of the boys including my DS are the same height as their teacher! So she os going to look into it.

DS says they are not allowed 2nd's and there is only one choice of meal or a jacket pot if they don't like it.

socharlotte Wed 30-Jan-13 11:03:59

They are paying the same amount so should get the same portion sizes and leave what they don't want.Why should reception parents subsidise year 6s?

lljkk Wed 30-Jan-13 11:11:56

the left overs go to feed the chickens!

Is that legal (aside, I know).
Lunchtimes, My sporty year 6 child eats less than my limp-wristed 4-year-old. Not that my 4yo will have school dinners any time soon, anyway.

When I work lunchtimes it's very striking how much food most the children leave behind.

MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 30-Jan-13 20:02:34

Same at our school, DS had always enjoyed school dinner from yr r but I started giving him packed lunch last term as the portions were too small now he is in yr 5. Plus the school has a new and unhelpful healthy snack policy, the only snack they are allowed is 1 piece of fruit a day. He's not tall, but extremely active. Several of his friends are doing the same thing. He was coming out of school extremely hungry and demanding snacks the second we got home, and on the days he went to his childminder it was causing a problem as she didn't really cater for his appetite either and tends to serve up bird sized portions as that's the amount her petite DDs eat. So now its a big packed lunch and we are back to normal. I'd be very happy to pay extra for larger portions, the school lunches are lovely, just too small. And DS did not leave his school lunches, he was renowned from yr r for eating every last scrap up and asking for seconds. At home he eats about the same amount as me, plus supper to keep him going through the night and to make up for the small tea at his childminders!

Hulababy Wed 30-Jan-13 20:05:28

If they pay the same I can see why they would get the same tbh.

However, at DDs school the children are given the same amount, but the juniors, who eat after the infants, can have bread and butter in addition to the meal, and also have seconds.

mumtoone Wed 30-Jan-13 20:41:48

My ds in year 4 has raised the same issue recently. He can often eat adult size portions at home and he's one of the smallest boys in his year. He's also said that they get the same portions as Reception. I would happily pay a little more for him to get enough food to satisfy his appetite. He doesn't take in extra food yet but I suspect we may end up doing that. The children have raised the issue with their School Council so we shall see if anything changes.

grants1000 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:15:54

I am not asking or have asked for any other parents to subsidise Y6 FGS, just questioning the logic and thought, or lack of, process. I'd be happy to pay more if the system was in place for me to do so.

narmada Thu 31-Jan-13 17:39:49

socharlotte what a daft thing to say! NIMBYism as applied to school dinners, what is the world coming to?!?

If your school is not an academy OP - and therefore has to meet statutory nutrition guidelines - then it may be that they are doing it this way because they think they have to to meet guidelines. Which is incorrect actually.

ggirl Thu 31-Jan-13 17:48:11

My ds also moans that the portions are too small ,he's small for his age and in yr5 so the bigger ones must be starving!
I wish we had the option of paying for larger portions.

Hobbitation Thu 31-Jan-13 17:53:58

I think for £2.30 a day everyone should be adequately fed. I bet in France they do 3/4 course meals in canteens for that- I was paying 1.30 a day in France in 1996 for a three/four course meal in a university canteen. 2.30 is surely more than equivalent in today's money.

ggirl Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:35

ds only pays £2

socharlotte Thu 31-Jan-13 19:00:44

socharlotte what a daft thing to say! NIMBYism as applied to school dinners, what is the world coming to?!?

how is it daft to assume portion sizes are equal? In What other catering outlet would it be acceptable for customers portion sizes to be varied depending on what the waiter thinks the customers calorific requirement is?

LadyLech Thu 31-Jan-13 19:10:04

"Would you be happy if a restaurant gave you less because you were smaller than the man at the table."

Sorry, but I think that is a very poor analogy because I would pay for an adult portion. However in many restaurants children's portions come in different sizes - younger and older child portions. For example Frankie and Benny's do this. Smaller portions for younger children and bigger portions for older children. As we all know, children need to eat more as they get older, and no I don't think it is acceptable for children of 4 to be expected to eat the same as a child of 11 (and vice versa)

socharlotte Thu 31-Jan-13 19:17:55

yes but they are different prices!!!!!!!!!

socharlotte Thu 31-Jan-13 19:18:38

school dinners are all the same price

AdriftAndOutOfStardust Thu 31-Jan-13 19:47:58

And the OP is saying she'd be happy to pay more for her child to be adequately fed - and you seem to be arguing that she shouldn't be allowed to!

narmada Thu 31-Jan-13 19:53:31

There is clear guidance and scientific evidence that children of different ages and different genders typically need different portion sizes. The key word there is typically. Surely school meal staff - and any staff involved in setting school meal policy - should be able to make allowances for different appetites?

As for the charging issue, it is not really on to compare school catering to commercial catering outlets. Schools, at least in tge state sector, are not commercial enterprises.

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 19:54:13

As a teacher on the rare occasion I've had a school lunch I can say it is exactly the same portion as the pupils get for lunch.

Hulababy Thu 31-Jan-13 19:59:47

Staff school dinners are bigger than children's at my school. However staff pay more than a £ than the children do.

LadyLech Thu 31-Jan-13 20:23:32

Me too, at the last school I taught in all teachers had bigger school dinners than students. (Different system where I currently work).

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 20:25:44

I feel robbed wink

ByTheWay1 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:06:27

Our school gets dinners delivered , does not cook on the premises - they are ordered daily after a count up at registration , counted in portions, so everyone gets the same.

We have had to push bloomin hard to get them to include just a few extra portions in case a little one slides their dinner onto the floor - God only knows what hoops would have to be jumped through to get different portion sizes.....

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