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To think that school dinners are better then packed lunch?

(63 Posts)
notnagging Mon 31-Dec-12 14:37:18

I have 4 ds at school. per month I pay £28.50 for the eldest & the other 3 have school dinners on Fridays only. I am always nipping to the shop to get extras & snacking on pack lunch stuff at home. I'm thinking if I put them all on full time school dinners it would ease some stress, make us healthier & help me lose some weight. Although it would cost me an extra £24.60 a week. I think I'd save that on extra shopping runs?

XBenedict Tue 01-Jan-13 10:35:43

Quote they look brilliant! DD hates school dinners because the portions are so small. Packed lunches are so boring but they look great! Do they keep the meals really warm?

FryOneFatManic Tue 01-Jan-13 11:11:04

notnagging you may be the lucky one, having chefs to cook at the school. Dinners for my DS's primary are cooked off-site (about 8 miles away) and often arrive pretty much cold.

This is despite the special school on the campus right next door having their own kitchens and chefs, so if this were better organised by the LA, the special school could easily cook the dinners for DS's school, and would at least be warm.

The menus look good, but the reality is not so good, as DS informs me. Small portions, and some meals are "disgusting". DS looked at the bento box linked by quote and has said he still prefers a cold lunch (but it looks good for work for me grin)

Snowkey Tue 01-Jan-13 12:57:47

The school make a packed lunch style option - according to the dcs, that's the worst thing to chose. I don't worry too much about what my dcs eat because they get a good breakfast and a good dinner but I was shocked when I saw how poor their school dinners are, I wouldn't eat them.

quoteunquote Tue 01-Jan-13 13:09:51

They keep the food really warm, hot and steamy, hot than the school dinners according to my children.

When I'm preparing the food, I fill the container with boiling water, which warms it through, then tip the water out just before I put the food in,

we often put jacket potatoes in the bottom and cold fillings in the top, and the child adds them together when they go to eat, they also have a plastic fork spoon,knife thing that they use, all works really well. soup and a sandwich is far nicer than just a cold lunch.

they are often on offer, so much cheaper, ours have paid for themselves over and over, just filled them with a beef stew to take to the beach. off in a min.

I use them on long car journeys very satisfying to have something wholesome instead of the garbage they offer at the services. They pay for themselves very quickly.

Snowkey Tue 01-Jan-13 13:15:25

I use kids thermos food flasks. Buying the smaller one means that you can fill the flask and it stays warm for longer. Lots of the kids bring in curries from home...they are incredibly popular.

Hulababy Tue 01-Jan-13 13:20:17

There is no real answer to this question ime. It very much depends on the packed lunches being given and the quality of the school dinners on offer, and if they can cater for individual children's allergies.

DD's school has a full kitchen and a cook. All meals are cooked fresh daily, with fresh ingredients, and children are given decent sized portions too.

Some school dinners are not very nice at all and some give tiny portions. However some packed lunches I see at my school leave an awful lot to be desired too. Most children's packed lunches at my school are nothing like the packed lunches described by MNetters.

mankyscotslass Tue 01-Jan-13 13:28:24

Our school dinners are £1.85 a day, I have three DC, there is no way I could afford to have them on school dinners as a regular event.

Portions are small - the portions are the same for reception class children and Year 6 kids, when in fact their needs are very different.

Often, by the time the last class is called in (they roster the year groups so they are not last two days running), there is only a very strange selection left.

So my lot have a packed lunch - usually pasta or sandwiches or wraps or pittas, salad or fruit and a yoghurt or cheese portion with a drink.

I would love to give them hot food in a thermos, but they are banned at our school - if they are on packed lunches it must be cold food. confused

Cadsuane Tue 01-Jan-13 13:30:41

As a teacher we can have a free school dinner if we do lunch duty. Even free I wouldn't eat most of the food.

Meglet Tue 01-Jan-13 13:34:33

DS has school dinners, I like him to have something warm in his tummy in the middle of the day. I don't have time to cook after work, although they do sometimes have hot food for supper. He has more variety if he has school dinners, I don't do things like burgers or lamb as we're mainly veggie at home.

When both DC's are at school in Sept it's going to cost me £80 a month <<gulp>>, but still easier than fannying about with packed lunch and endless trips to the supermarket.

EuphemiaInExcelsis Tue 01-Jan-13 13:35:05

I'd happily eat the food, but not in the company of the children!

IAmLouisWalsh Tue 01-Jan-13 13:36:48

My rule is school dinners til you are old enough to make your own packed lunch.

I work in a school. Our dinners are very good - perfectly possible to eat healthily. DS1 eats well at his school and DS2 will have no bloody choice!

SizzleSazz Tue 01-Jan-13 13:47:39

Dd's teacher has school dinners every day, so I'm happy for my dc to!

I do think it is more expensive than packed lunches, especially for a 6 and 4 year old

dayshiftdoris Tue 01-Jan-13 14:00:45

Having been in 3 different school (just don't ask) and done a variety of packed lunches full time, hot dinners full time and part time each...

For one child hot dinners are definitely cheaper - two schools we have been at have had excellent hot dinners - one shipped in and one cooked on site by a cook. The shipped in one was actually a company that supplied care homes - excellent value for money, tasted great (parents got a tasting night) and good size portions.
The onsite cook was utilising the County Council scheme - frozen everything and TINY portions but it was a small school and my son has a beautiful smile so often got a bit more (he's also super skinny and the staff hated me so it made them feel better to think they were feeding when I obviously wasn't!)... I was less impressed with what I was getting for my money.

Now get free school meals and the school ONLY offer a packed lunch or a jacket potato option 3 times a week... and that, if you pay for it is more expensive by 5p than the other two schools... disgusting!

Totally irony that I finally qualify for free school meals and I'm in a school that don't offer a decent service!

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