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WIBU to make a complaint to the school?

(98 Posts)
ReindeerBollocks Wed 15-May-13 16:31:10

DS has been berated by pupils and a staff member for the 'fatty foods' in his lunchbox. Apparently the staff member did ask him just to have a word with me to make sure it was better tomorrow as she will be checking.

Now, I know the school has a healthy eating policy, it was mentioned to me when he started - however I have had several meetings with the school to discuss DS's complex medical needs AND his high fat diet which is necessary due to DS being medically malnourished. The Head personally assured me that his diet wouldn't be an issue for the school. Ever.

My child needs 3000 calories per day to maintain his abysmal weight. We squeeze in calories whenever we can - and he needs crisps & chocolates as part of his regime (yogurts just don't quite have the fat content we need!).

Thing is, the school know this - so shouldn't be monitoring his lunchbox at all. DS is quite bothered by the other children's attitudes towards his lunchbox, and their opinions of his diet - he doesn't want to be unhealthy. He is also concerned that he will be shouted at by the staff member tomorrow - or by other members of staff in the future.

I want to complain, however I just want the school to get it right. They made a cock up of something else last week (medical) and I know that another appearance at the school is going to make me 'that mother'. WIBU to complain about this, or just let it lie and hope that they remember why my boy is gorging on chocolate?

JenaiMorris Sat 18-May-13 03:42:13

Goodness, lardy cake wouldn't even touch the sides in comparison!

Glad it's turned out ok with the school smile

OhLori Sat 18-May-13 00:39:59

Good result, OP!

SlumberingDormouse Sat 18-May-13 00:37:40

I agree that it's not a school's place to police lunch boxes. It's not a good idea to make children self-conscious about food at such an early age. Is it any wonder that eating disorders have risen so exponentially in recent years? This is a sensitive subject for me as I currently have no fewer than three (!) close female friends sectioned due to anorexia, but I do wonder what can be done to create a more relaxed atmosphere around food and body image more generally.

FadedSapphire Fri 17-May-13 22:30:21

Does he like [and can he tolerate] fried bread? [Not for pack lunch mind!].

FadedSapphire Fri 17-May-13 22:28:50

We had to pack as much nutrician and calories in as small a quantity as possible. As prescription stuff limited did use build up stuff in recipes too.
Another angel delight one [teeth rotting]. Sachet of build up, sachet of angel delight, milk and double cream mix/ or single cream instead of milk. Took a lot of whisking. Not exactly gourmet I know!
I'm sure you and your dietician aware of all the tricks to boost food. I found my mind consumed with how to get calories into savoury as well as sweet stuff and drinks. Stressful and I wish you the best of luck and health for your son.

FadedSapphire Fri 17-May-13 22:11:45

Yes scandishake is powerful stuff!!!

eggsandwich Fri 17-May-13 22:02:05

What about writing a short note explaining the situation and that the head is aware of the need for the lunchbox to be the way it is. I would tell your ds not to say anything if questioned about his lunch, just hand over the note and say any problems to contact you on the following number, I would do a few copies of the note, but eventually they should get the message.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 17-May-13 21:25:49

Just to add, we once made a cake with scandishake mix (calorific powder mix).

One cake contained about 3000 calories. Was chocolate fudge cake, and I whilst tempted I just had to think about how many calories each slice contained.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 17-May-13 21:22:41

Just thought I'd update this.

I've spoken to the school, and they were lovely. They said that DS has had his daily meds, and I spoke directly to the woman who gives them, to say she has never missed a dose. She said that DS has often forgotten once he has had them and has often been back after lunch for a second dose hmm. This does sound a bit DS like, so I do believe her.

I was able to speak to the HT, who said that they don't have a lunchbox inspection policy but it sounds like the staff member was alerted due to DS's friends noticing the contents of his lunchbox. HT assured me she would have a word with the staff generally, but will also talk with his class to state that lunchboxes are different depending on individual needs, so don't report anything, without making DS the sole cause.

Finally the HT apologised for the intravenous device debacle - DS has had a set of substitute teachers who, whilst aware of his issues, aren't fully up to date as to the procedure should something like this happen. She has brought these members of staff up to speed and DS was monitored in certain situations where this could happen (PE, busy cloakroom type scenarios).

So all in all, I'm glad I went with a fairly blameless just concerned chat, and the school really seem to be trying to get to grips with DS and everything that he entails. They do have written procedures, and all minutes of meetings I have been party too, and their policies for dealing with him. I think he and they have been extremely unlucky with the way things have gone in the last week.

As he was collected today there was another issue but they had alerted me as soon as it happened and had their first aider on the scene - so I am trying to let them deal with things as and when they happen. Plus, I have to unclench. The hospital have spoken briefly about handover of care from me to DS in a couple of years <freaking the fuck out about that>, so as long as I know they have written procedures in place that are being activated and used then I will try and trust them. It's a shame all of the above happened in a few days - when it was genuinely unlucky that any of it happened.

hotcrosbum Fri 17-May-13 07:52:48

Thank god my ds school is relaxed about lunch boxes. They never check and don't have any banned foods.

They put feelers out a while back about introducing a healthy eating policy, but it was soon shot down by parents who said "great, but ban pudding, pizza and cheese from school dinners first, then we'll talk"

JenaiMorris Fri 17-May-13 07:45:07

Lardy Cake for sleepywombat smile

Tis lovely [west country face]

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 07:02:45

MrRected, I'm a teacher in Australia, and I've always refused to be the lunchbox police. It's not in my job description. I'm paid to educate, it's a parents job to feed them. That being said, we are well aware of what children are eating and if a child that was only being sent with crisps and chocolate then we would have a quiet word with the parents to see if it could be improved upon as it's not an effective diet that will help with their learning. Most parents are sending reasonably healthy lunchboxes with a few treats thrown in (which I agree with, I have my salad at lunch and often a mini chocolate bar afterwards, and see nothing wrong with it). I would never speak directly to a child about their food as it's not the child's job to pack their lunchbox. In all of my years, I've only ever had to speak to one parent, and it turned out the child was packing their own lunchbox themselves without the parents ever bothering to check it. Once the parents starting monitoring it, and with a bit of subtle dual education between school and home, the child was taught to make more appropriate food choices.

CouthyMow Fri 17-May-13 06:58:51


FadedSapphire Fri 17-May-13 06:56:53

Super rich macaroni cheese....oh that sauce was full of hidden vitamins and fat!

FadedSapphire Fri 17-May-13 06:54:23

YANBU and I think the laminated card a good idea [though should not be necessary]. They MUST get his med right; absolutely unacceptable if they don't and policy in place.
I was a carer for someone who needed a high fat/nutrician diet as found it difficult to eat and keep weight on. He also had learning disabilities and did not understand importance of food/drinks he was given. Lung problems/ choking etc. Dietician helped us supercharge his food and said sod cholestral levels etc. We had the prescribed drinks etc.
Did Angel delight with double cream/ prescribed drink in it. Scoured shops for puddings with a high calorie punch that would not make him choke. Panacotta good, some mousses and cheese cakes [though had to be careful of crumbly bit]. It was a mission and heartbreaking to watch him struggle with weight/coughing etc.
Good luck op, and the school need to try and make your life easier not harder by improving their communication within school.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Fri 17-May-13 06:18:56

Can't bieve how many people are doubting that your ds diet needs to be like this, to be honest I think that's the problem. This member of staff was in the meeting yet still did this. She's of the same mentality of the thread where the woman tried to force feed a hamwich to a veggie 4 year old, she thinks she knows better.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Fri 17-May-13 06:18:49

Can't bieve how many people are doubting that your ds diet needs to be like this, to be honest I think that's the problem. This member of staff was in the meeting yet still did this. She's of the same mentality of the thread where the woman tried to force feed a hamwich to a veggie 4 year old, she thinks she knows better.

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 06:04:29

That would almost be ok Mummytime if they were open about it. Our school are being disingenous about it - dressing it up as a recycling initiative, then penalising the kids for having a biscuit in their lunchbox.

Some kids' parents will send whatever they please, despite any amount of pestering by their children. This leaves the child open to feeling badly - imagine mine or Alligtor's DD's, they'd be mortified if we kept on sending crap to school - despite their pleas. I stand by my opinion that what a child eats is their parents choice and not the school's choice.

mummytime Fri 17-May-13 06:00:32

For MrRected and anyo e else who doesn't know why some schools monitor lunch boxes, and try to use "pester power" to improve them. Lunch boxes for a school trip can contain: 2 Mars bars and a can of Irun Brew. This does impact on the teachers.

However OP I really hope your DCs school is getting its act together. They are not "safeguarding" your son adequately, and maybe they need some education at their next Inset.

Alligatorpie Fri 17-May-13 05:56:10

Fair point. My dd's teacher sent home a list of healthy snack ideas for the parents. Dd is totally on board, and would panick if she thought she didn't have a healthy snack. Now, she packs her own lunch, and always includes fruits and veggies ( and then goes to the cafeteria to buy popcorn or crackers) She is seven.

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 05:42:36

Alligator - my concern is that it's unfair to reward a child for what's in their lunchbox, on the basis that they aren't responsible for what's in their lunchbox. Not to mention the fact that the school advertise this as a means of reducing waste - not a way of checking what's in lunchboxes.

Whilst I make healthy choices for my kids and feel quite passionate about ensuring my kids have a diet high in fruit/veg/unprocessed foods. I totally respect the right of other parents to feed their kids whatever they please and feel sorry for all the little kids who get penalised for their parents' actions.

Alligatorpie Fri 17-May-13 05:20:44

MrR my dd gets stickers for bringng a healthy snack. I think it's a good idea. How hard is it to put a piece of fruit or some veggies in a lunchbox? What is your concern about it?

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 05:08:40

I asked my DD & DS if their lunchboxes have ever been inspected (we are in Australia). I was shocked to hear that they are inspected.

On Mondays the children have to take in Package Free (I knew about this) to reduce landfill (just moves it around IMO). What I didn't know was that those with healthy options in their lunchboxes are given a sticker to reward them shock.

Good job I am on the school council. This will be rectfied forthwith.

SoupDragon Thu 16-May-13 11:03:10

Not all schools monitor lunchboxes.

Jengnr Thu 16-May-13 06:29:29

The whole monitoring dinners really gets on my tots. I'm dreading my son going to school because this will a) really fuck me off and b) my natural contrary side will want to put 'banned' items in.

Banned items, at fucking primary school. WTF???

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