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to ask if your DCs school has a healthy lunch box policy and what you think of it?

(167 Posts)
NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:29:55

Is it "enforced"? Do you find it annoying and intefering? Does your child eat what you put in their lunchbox? I'm asking as a mum but also as a teacher.

mrskeithlemon Wed 12-Oct-11 14:34:39

yes yes yes very bloody annoying. I am responsible enough to feed my ds what I choose to

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:39:11

Last school had this. I'm opposed to it in principle as I think I'm perfectly able to judge that giving them a choc biscuit 2 or 3 days a week isn't going to harm them esp when their sandwiches are always on brown bread, always have salad in them and they always have a piece of fruit too.
They are also very actice kids who do lots of sport both inside and out of school.

I very much resent this crap that because some parents don't understand the concept of nutrition then we all have to be lowered to that level to ensure their children don't end up with scurvy! hmm

Oh and I used to teach in primary and up until recently, the state of some of the school meals was truly shocking. Many of them are still piss poor.

NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:40:21

totally understand your point of view, and I bet you send your DS with a lovely healthy lunch. It's just that i was sitting having lunch with some of the kids in my school the other day and one of the children (who is obese) had the following in her lunchbox, white bread jam sandwiches, a chocolate croissant, a packet of cheese and onion crisps and a cupcake. I know not all the children have lunchboxes like that but most have crisps every day and many do not bring in any fruit or veg.

CristinadellaPizza Wed 12-Oct-11 14:41:41

I think it's a good thing. Ours don't seem to get policed but then the most exciting thing DS ever gets in his is a handful of mini Cheddars

Insomnia11 Wed 12-Oct-11 14:41:47

The schools policy is no chocolate, no nuts, for practical reasons. That's it. Never heard of anything being confiscated. I don't think the policy should go beyond this.

DeWe Wed 12-Oct-11 14:42:10

Not really. they ask to avoid sweets, but don't really check thoroughly.
However there was apparently a few years back a parent who sent regularly a whole pack lunch which was entirely chocolate, including a chocolate milkshake. shock I think it was perfectly reasonable for them to object to that!

NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:43:29

My past experience has been that having a policy upsets the parents who are already doing it right and whose kids are fine which I totally get but I feel as if we need to do something to help the many kids who don't have the opportunities to eat healthily and if we can improve their lunch 5 days a week it could have a real impact on their health. Don't want to impose petty rules though that annoy and alienate parents.

GladbagsAndYourHandrags Wed 12-Oct-11 14:44:13

Not as far as I know, but DC have school dinners and prefer it 'because you get more treats'! I know there is a no nut policy and agree with it totally.

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:44:43

Norfolk, your post just proves my point. I think it is fundamentally wrong to make sweeping rules just to catch a few kids whose parents need educating about nutrition.

Why not, in fact, educate those parents about nutrition instead and allow me to carry on judging whether it's acceptable to sometimes include a choc treat in order to boost the calorie intake of my very actice children?

shaz298 Wed 12-Oct-11 14:45:24

Not sure what our school policy is but will check. My DS is tube fed but has real food blended up via his tube, so if they want to remove the cake or biccies, good luck to them since it's all in there together

I don't agree with the enforcement at all. Actually there are children out there who are having crisps, chocolate, cake on doctors/dieticians orders. So what about them.

If it is picked up that a particular child is only being given junk, then that needs to be addressed with the responsible parent/carer and if no change or explanation then contact school nurse etc. No-one should be removing ANY food from a child. It is most likely not the child who packs the lunch and therefore unfair to penalise the child. It's an adult responsibility.

IMO removing 'junk' from some children may actually result in that child not having anytrhing to eat at all that day!!

Most parents actually do care about their children and their health and should be able to provide their kids with whatever treats they see fit.

And having looked at several schools school dinner menus, there is ALWAYS a pudding of cake and custard, rice pudding, chocolate cake.........if they are so health conscious what about plain fruit for pudding!

I will step off of my soap box now ...

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:46:13

Too much pussyfooting. If some parents don't know how to feed their kids then they should be targeted rather than some crap that covers everyone to avoid making anyone feel bad.

GladbagsAndYourHandrags Wed 12-Oct-11 14:46:44

NorfolkBroad could you do some sort of reward thing where children record how many 'good' things they eat and then get a certificate each term?

NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:47:06

Yes, lovingthecoast I get that, this is the point of my post, to find out what parents consider to be unreasonably stringent guidelines. For example. What do you think about only allowing crisps on a Friday? Bearing in mind that at the moment most children bring them in every day?

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:47:35

And yes, I agree with you that you need to do something in order to help those kids. But penalising my kids just to avoid awkward confrontation with those parents is unacceptable.

NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:49:49

shaz we also have some children who are on high calorie diets because of health conditions so obviously it's not going to work for everyone. Maybe you are right, maybe it is simply a case of targetting those parents who really need lots of guidance.

fedupandtired Wed 12-Oct-11 14:51:10

My two girls are 8 & 9 and their infant school had a healthy eating policy which was strictly enforced. I don't think the junior school where they are now are quite so strict about it but having given them a healthy packed lunch every day for 3 years parents aren't suddenly going to start giving crisps and biscuits just because they've changed schools are they?

My only gripe is one time I put a wrapped chocolate in each packed lunch (first and only time) and DD1 ate hers but DD2's classroom assistant told her she wasn't allowed to eat it. I could understand it if I was a repeat offender but 1 chocolate in 3 years! Bit of an overkill if you ask me but there you go.

They eat what I give them because if they didn't they'd go hungry. Plus I don't give them anything I know they wouldn't eat.

NorfolkBroad Wed 12-Oct-11 14:51:56

I totally agree that we don't want to penalise the kids that's why I don't want to go down the "stickers" route. As you say, it is the parents that pack the lunch.

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:51:56

Well I think that you'd be better holding cookery or nutrition workshops to show that high salt and high fat every day isn't ideal. Having said that; my kids quite often had the 'Goodies' range of crisps which had no added salt or sugar and all natural flavouring so how do you compare?

Also, you will get some very responsible parents who include crisps precisely to get more calories into their kids. If the rest of their lunchbox is healthy and they're not eating high salt and fat foods at home then their parents are obviously trying to strike a balance.

My kids do football, rugby, swimming, dance and tennis on a weekly basis. They sometimes need the extra calories.

startail Wed 12-Oct-11 14:52:58

Yes and no. We have healthy school status or some such rubbish. More house points for fruit as snack and no swish in class. Water bottles.
Fortunately it isn't very well enforced so I don't have to go on the war path about the likelihood of DD2 making herself I'll rather than drink water. Or explain that I refuse to buy apples and grapes to milder in her lunch box, because she's raced off to play, when she very happily munches fruit at home.

startail Wed 12-Oct-11 14:54:02

And no squash in water bottlesblush.

worraliberty Wed 12-Oct-11 14:55:27

Our school's really quite sensible

They allow chocolate biscuits and things as part of a healthy balanced lunch

However, some kids were coming to school with cold McDonald's nuggets and one little girl just took packet of Jaffa cakes and a drink every day....these are the parents the school will target instead of 'blanket banning' everything.

startail Wed 12-Oct-11 14:55:28

Oh forget it I shouldn't try to type in a hurry before school run blush

lovingthecoast Wed 12-Oct-11 14:56:57

Yes to only water in their water bottles. Of course, this makes sense. On top of everything else, you cannot risk sticky juice spilling everywhere plus they need proper washing daily with a bottle brush if you put juice in them otherwise you get spores.

ILoatheMickeyMouseClubhouse Wed 12-Oct-11 14:57:20

My eldest is at high school so obviously there are no restrictions there; they can fill their boots with junk food as long as they leave the teachers alone at lunchtime ;-)

The school DD2 attends doesn't have lunchbox policies, the only stipulation is they prefer the infant department not to bring crisps as they are time consuming to eat and generally require the dinner ladies to open the packets. This is fine with me as I don't send crisps in DD's lunch anyway. I'm not against lunch box policies in principle as long as they're not bordering on ludicrous as they seem to be in some schools. It's a fact that some parents do seem to need some guidance in what they should feed their child. I wouldn't want to be a teacher teaching a child all afternoon that had had nothing but chocolate or Haribos for lunch.

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