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School dinners do they get enough?

(44 Posts)
Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:17:07

DS was previously on packed lunches but preferred at hot meal so has went on to school dinners. The cost of which is 2.05 a day 10.25 a week. The problem is the portions they are giving are not enough and DS and his friends are complaining about how hungary they are. Sample of portions are Two fish fingers one scoop of mash, one portion of cauliflower one portion of broccii and a pudding.

I work in a care home residents have a budget of 2.50 to cover THREE meals and snacks per resident. There is always plenty of food left over and staff often pay for a meal.

Aibu to bring in up to the school they currently been requesting feedback. DS isn't over weight and eats a very good diet but he is starving when he comes home. I understand budgets but given the food budget at work surely they can give the children abit more. DS has asked for more but is refused.

redhat Fri 04-Mar-16 12:20:16

You have the choice to give him paced lunches again if he's hungry though surely?

HPsauciness Fri 04-Mar-16 12:24:10

I think the issue is that the meals are standard portions, so what suits a 6 year old often isn't enough for an 11 year old. My children say the same, the portions are small, one tiny slice chicken, two tiny potatoes, one sprig broccoli boiled to death is a typical portion of 'roast dinner'- and their plates are tiny. Unfortunately then the pudding sizes are really large!

It's not ideal, but for me, I don't want to start down the packed lunch route again, so they just have a snack when they get in. My dd was healthier off school dinners, but for various reasons, I need to let her have school dinners to cut me a bit of slack.

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:26:03

Obviously but surely if a child tells them ts not enough they should give more. But i do thibk a warm meal makes a difference.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 04-Mar-16 12:27:45

I agree, unfortunately at our school apparently there isn't the facilities for lots of the kids to have packed lunch confused so DS has to have school dinners. He's mentioned before that the sandwiches are only 3 triangles (so one triangle short).

We've let school know but as they get offered seconds (DS says this is rare) and have passed some sort of award recently for food quality the portion sizes aren't going to be increased hmm

You say they are after feedback, then yes, I'd mention that you feel the portion sizes aren't big enough.

In the mean time would your DS be allowed to bring in a snack bag? (Fruit, healthy snack bar?, raisins)

Kitkatmonster Fri 04-Mar-16 12:28:35

I had this issue previously, as both mine had been on dinners since reception and about 2 years ago my son (y4 then) started coming home absolutely starving hungry, not enough to eat for dinner etc etc. I think the same as HP above, it's probably that the portion sizes are the same from reception to y6, yet older children will likely need more than this. We just switched to packed lunches and I give extra so they have snacks for after school club as well, seems to work - certainly not starving the minute they get home anymore.

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Mar-16 12:28:41

Imo they're more than enough.

They're a light lunch, which they should be considering kids then go out to run around the playground/do PE lessons.

If your DS has breakfast before school, then dinner in the evening, a light lunch in the middle of the day should be fine.

There's nothing wrong with being hungry at home time either. In fact it's natural imo.

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:29:57

My DS is 7 and says its not enough. I thinl il start putting a snack bar in his bag to eat aswell.

Chattymummyhere Fri 04-Mar-16 12:31:43

I think in certain year groups it becomes too small. Our school ks2 get larger portions than ks1 and fs which makes sense but my son in year 2 clears his plate plus pudding and still had my pudding at the last parent and child lunch day so his clearly ready for the next size up.

FigMango1 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:31:46

Those portion sizes sound fine to me. A snack bar is a good idea. Does he have something when he gets home? If so, he's having a few meals a day.

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:32:32

He has a good bowl of cereal and fruit before school. Maybe i just have a hungary child he sometimes has seconds at tea time.

HPsauciness Fri 04-Mar-16 12:33:56

At my dd's school, they can't have seconds! There is a standard size for all children, and that's that. So a jacket potato is half a very small potato. My dd when she left was 5 ft 2, so adult size female. It's not really enough at all.

redhat Fri 04-Mar-16 12:34:30

what is he having for breakfast?

Mine have something like beans and cheese on toast (two slices of bread) or eggs on toast/omelette etc for breakfast with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk.

Would it help to make his breakfasts more substantial?

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 04-Mar-16 12:37:30

As a lunch I actually think that sounds fine. My lot certainly wouldn't be eating a bigger lunch at home and I'm doubtful that a packed lunch would equate to more food than that. I expect them to be hungry when they come home and plan meals at home accordingly to allow for a snack after school.

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 04-Mar-16 12:37:41

DD 8 says she's still hungry after lunch, school lunches are compulsory at the DC's school. They also provide morning snack, we aren't allowed to send anything in (control freakery), they only get fruit and salad veg. angry

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:37:44

He has porridge or he will have cereal and then toast. I get breakfast bar for his first break. He might be just growing.

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Mar-16 12:38:06

I think over the years kids are being fed bigger and bigger meals by their parents, but most schools stick with 'child sized' portions, so now they look much smaller IYSWIM?

On average, I eat about 2-3 school dinners a month and it tends to hit the spot for a couple of hours.

My kids come home from school hungry, have a little snack (just as I did when I was a kid) and then they're hungry for dinner again later.

tdm1 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:40:46

Cereal and fruit are quite high in sugar and carbs. There is protein in milk, but maybe up his protein intake at breakfast (e.g. cheese, nuts, eggs, peanut butter) which will make him feel full for much longer?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 04-Mar-16 12:43:17

Our school dinners are £2 but they get a side salad - pasta noodles usual cucumber etc - that they help themselves too - maybe suggest this

redhat Fri 04-Mar-16 12:43:44

Maybe more protein with his breakfast. It made all the difference for my DSs (10 and 8)

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:45:32

Hi sally i did meantion the salad bar, he is begining to try salads.

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Mar-16 12:55:01

See that's another thing. It's not always that they're not given enough, it's sometimes that they don't like everything they're given.

Yet it's impossible to provide daily meals where every single child will like every single item.

It's like when you go to a wedding and you have to pick from a couple of things on the menu. My heart sometime's sinks and yet I'm really not a fussy eater.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 04-Mar-16 12:55:05

Personally I don't think it is enough, but then I am often surprised by the size of the packed lunches that many posters consider adequate.

My boy eats a Mumsnet approved breakfast, fruit at breaktime, and would not be impressed with that much lunch. He is a tall muscley nine year old who cycles to school, spends every playtime running about and does a lot of sport.

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Fri 04-Mar-16 12:55:18

It's fine if it is a light lunch, but for a loti of kids it is their main meal of the day. I have had reason to look at portions sizes at my school lately and I would not be happy with them, especially for a n older child.

Naicehamshop Fri 04-Mar-16 12:58:43

Interesting. I do a couple of lunch duties in the primary school I work in, and parents have mentioned about their children being absolutely starving and complaining about the portions. To me, the portions look reasonable, but about a third of the plate is usually veg so if a child doesn't eat any veg (quite a few don't) then they will be getting a smallish plate of food.

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