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To not allow my dds to have packed lunches?

(103 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 05-Feb-14 10:12:38

My 2 younger dds are 11 and nearly 7. They are fussy-ish eaters especially the 11 year old.

However I have always insisted on school dinners because:

-I can't face making packed lunches day in day out for years on end

-I think it's good for fussy eaters in the long run to be exposed to different types of food rather than a limited choice in their lunch box

The school has recently changed their supplier to one where the food is better quality and cooked fresh. They didn't mind (too much) the old food, however they really don't like the new food.

There is a fairly low take up on school meals at the school, not for financial reasons but there seem to be a lot of fussy eaters who don't like the school food.

So am I being mean on insisting on school lunches? My thinking is - there is a perfectly fine, freshly cooked meal available, I don't see the need to make a packed lunch. I also cook in the evening.


LadyintheRadiator Wed 05-Feb-14 10:15:33

Yes, you are. How long does it take to make a couple of sandwiches? Five minutes, if you're quite slow? Surely 11 is old enough to make it herself anyway.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 05-Feb-14 10:18:01

Yanbu & can see completely why you cba to make packed lunches, as it is an extra thing to do in the morning amongst the conveyer belt of morning run chaos!

I wish i could afford school dinners for my 3 at school, in september 4 at school but taking into account the £44 a week it would cost us, my dc would miss out on weekends out to pay for it so packed lunches it is for now until finances become better.

LydiaLunches Wed 05-Feb-14 10:19:54

I do the same for DDs, seriously don't have time to make packed lunches of equivalent quality, they are on FSM while I do my degree as well, so sandwiches not an option. They can usually choose a jacket potato, beans and cheese if they don't want the main option though. The only thing that has ever swayed me was that they used to do segregated seating based on lunch option which I though t was unfair but they changed that shortly after my eldest started. Not liking the food options would not change my mind. They haven't asked after packed lunches for this year but when they used to I just reminded them that they get a proper pudding with school dinner smile

Contraryish Wed 05-Feb-14 10:20:20

No, not unreasonable. My two know that packed lunches aren't an option. They get much more variety through school lunches and a hot meal in the middle of the day.

Bramshott Wed 05-Feb-14 10:20:20

I let my DDs (same ages!) have packed lunches on Mondays, but they have to have school dinners for the rest of the week. Same reasons as you - I CBA to be making packed lunches with everything else I have on; I don't think packed lunches are that healthy anyway (without a lot of effort); and I think it's good for them to try new things at school.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 05-Feb-14 10:20:36

mine have a mix of school dinners/packed lunches depending on what is on offer each day. At £2.20ish a day for one school dinner it is probably cheaper for them to have a packed lunch!

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 10:22:46

If there's such a low uptake then maybe there's a reason. Like it's not as nice as it looks or sounds.

Why don't you ask to sample and go from there. If it's shit then let them have packed lunch. Laziness is not an excuse to make them eat slop.

If they are actually ok then the older dd can make her own should she wish.

Showy Wed 05-Feb-14 10:22:57

What do you mean by don't like the new dinners? Are they eating them or not? Depends whether you're paying for a lunch they're eating but don't adore or paying for them to be hungry because they really won't eat it.

It's your choice whether you give packed lunches or school dinners but your reasoning is a little off. A packed lunch isn't less adventurous than a school dinner. You are in total control of what you put in it. Nobody says it has to be a limp cheese sandwich, a yoghurt and a squashed packet of hula hoops.

I give dd a packed lunch because it's about 75% cheaper than a school lunch, I can vary what's in it and cater to her personal tastes and it takes approximately 180 seconds to put it together.

Dancergirl Wed 05-Feb-14 10:23:02

lady it's not just the making the sandwiches. It's the gathering together all the other bits and pieces, packing it all, remembering to take it, dds remembering to bring it home, cleaning it out etc.

And yes, 11 year old could do this but it would still be another thing for me do to to nag remind her.

Plus dd1 would only eat cheese sandwiches. Or chicken which I don't always have. She'd soon get bored of eating that day in day out.

SaucyJack Wed 05-Feb-14 10:24:12

Your kids, your business.

Mine have packed lunch tho, precisely because I don't want them having a hot meal in the day as we have our dinner together in the evening.

MrsPixieMoo Wed 05-Feb-14 10:24:18

YANBU, you have to do what works for you and your reasons are really valid and sensible. But maybe a compromise? Say one day a week they can have packed lunches as a treat, but have to make it themselves? Even a six year old can assemble a healthy balanced packed lunch from a cupboard of lunch choices, which you can stock up every few weeks.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 10:25:13

it's not just the making the sandwiches. It's the gathering together all the other bits and pieces, packing it all, remembering to take it, dds remembering to bring it home, cleaning it out etc

Sorry but that is just pathetic. Feeding out children is our job no matter how much of "a faff" it is.

Dancergirl Wed 05-Feb-14 10:25:35

Like it's not as nice as it looks or sounds.

The new caterers did a tasting session for parents and children at the start of the year. It was really good, freshly made with proper ingredients.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 10:26:30

But is that actually what they are getting??

You got the "impress the parents" stuff. What you want to see is what the kids get now.

Deadhamsterssmell Wed 05-Feb-14 10:26:38

I had to have school lunches when I was a child and it made me into a fussy eater. I still can't eat a lot of foods as the thought of them makes me feel ill.

My DC 6, 8 and 11 make their own lunches as they don't like the school ones. I check that they have included plenty of healthy things and not too much unhealthy and that's it. It takes no more than a couple of minutes. They certainly aren't fussy eaters.

Dancergirl Wed 05-Feb-14 10:26:41

That should have been Like it's not as nice as it looks or sounds quoting giles' quote above!

Sparklysilversequins Wed 05-Feb-14 10:26:43

I hated school dinners. It's a long day without even a break with something nice to eat half way through.

Takes five minutes if that to put together a packed lunch.

fifi669 Wed 05-Feb-14 10:27:18

You know packed lunch wise you'd get nagged that they didn't like this if that and you'd end up putting not the best food in nutritionally. Stick with school dinners if you can afford it.

Showy Wed 05-Feb-14 10:30:32

It's okay to say 'I don't want my child to have a packed lunch'. You are the adult. There's no aibu to answer to. But don't justify it with all this 'gathering stuff, remembering it, making sandwiches, cleaning' etc. These things take minutes and a 6yo and 11yo could do it themselves. If you want them to have a school lunch, then they have a school lunch. You don't need the internet's approval.

drwitch Wed 05-Feb-14 10:31:27

it's not just the making the sandwiches. It's the gathering together all the other bits and pieces, packing it all, remembering to take it, dds remembering to bring it home, cleaning it out etc

quite agree OP

It may only take 5 mins but those 5 are hard to find in the mornings.

juneau Wed 05-Feb-14 10:33:36

I switched DS1 to packed lunches this year because 1) he wasn't eating the school lunch and so was starving when he got home; 2) it was a waste of money if he wasn't eating it; and 3) he can't do his best at school and concentrate/play games/keep warm on cold days if he's got an empty, growling stomach. Obviously, it's up to you whether you wish to pander to fussiness, but doing it just to make a point seems a bit rubbish to me. You don't always have chicken or cheese? So put them on your shopping list!

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 10:33:51

Then do it night before

Suttonmum1 Wed 05-Feb-14 10:34:42

YANBU. I am completely with you. One of my sons is very picky but he has always had school lunches as I think he should be able to cope with eating some of what he's given. That's a reason I think the free meals for younger kids is a good idea, they are much more likely to try things when eating together and away from you.

Mim78 Wed 05-Feb-14 10:38:42

Yanbu. At all.

Both because your reasons are good and because it is your choice as a parent.

Can never believe the amount of pandering to fussy eaters - both children and adults - that goes on on mn!

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