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School lunchtime

(45 Posts)
YokoWakarimasen Thu 12-May-16 10:43:59

Apparently at DD's school the children only get 15 minutes to eat lunch, and if they are not done in this time, tough - it gets binned or put back in packed lunch bags to bring home. This is because there are too many children to sit in the lunch hall at the same time in the new school building (Scotland - the newer schools are all tiny!). I think this is massively not ok - it can't be healthy to teach them to guzzle it all, surely?

I have emailed to find out more, but WIBU to take this further?

Seeline Thu 12-May-16 10:48:14

Is it primary or secondary?
If it's older kids, then it's probably OK as they have a better sense of time. Totally unreasonable for younger kids.

RiverTam Thu 12-May-16 10:57:53

I can easily eat my lunch or dinner in 15 minutes without guzzling. I know that DD can't always but that's because she's a fusser and ditherer so frankly if this taught her to just crack on I wouldn't mind!

YokoWakarimasen Thu 12-May-16 11:00:22

sorry, Primary. She is 6.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Thu 12-May-16 11:02:20

Our KS1 and 2s get 30 mins max to eat packed lunch in classrooms. School dinners are served in dining hall and classes are staggered to make sure there's room. If the packed lunch kids struggle they get sent to the hall after 30 mins to finish. As long as classrooms are clear after 30 mins and dining hall is clean and tidy by end of lunch then no limit, they just miss playtime.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Thu 12-May-16 11:03:17

They are encouraged to finish within 30 mins though so they can get some fresh air and play.

readingrainbow Thu 12-May-16 11:04:01

Not enough time at all. Poor kids.

CremeEggThief Thu 12-May-16 11:04:50

YANBU. It's not enough time for little ones, especially for a hot meal and pudding. Why does everything have to be so rush, rush, rush now? No wonder anxiety levels are rising in children.

gabsdot Thu 12-May-16 12:14:58

They do this in my kids school too and they kids aren't allowed to eat outside, (to avoid litter I think).
DD always manges to eat everything which is funny because she is a very slow eater at home. DS often has left over lunch.
However if they have a good breakfast then they won't starve if they don't finish their lunch.

shiveringhiccup Thu 12-May-16 12:57:12

Yanbu. I don't enjoy having to rush my lunch but I'm able to eat quickly if I need to. It's not ok to do that to a 6 year old - and then expect them to have energy and alertness for the afternoon!

Moonlightceleste Thu 12-May-16 14:12:10

That's ridiculous. Absolutely no way my 6 year old could eat her lunch in 15 minutes. We've had issues with her eating her lunch at school and that's in double the time your DD is expected to eat hers in!

nobilityobliges Thu 12-May-16 14:12:25

Does the 15 mins include queuing, getting settled, clearing up? That's def not enough time.

Cubtrouble Thu 12-May-16 14:24:09

That is an absolute disgrace. Food is an issue for a lot of kids- my son takes an age to eat but does eventually get there. He wouldn't manage to eat all his lunch in 15 minutes and nor should he have to. I do get the litter argument but this wasn't an issue at my school and we were allowed to eat outside. The school had plenty of bins!!

My son starts school this year and one of my questions was going to be about food and lunches!!

YokoWakarimasen Thu 12-May-16 16:36:57

I am really reassured that I am not alone on this. The three focus points of the curriculum for excellence seem to be literacy, numeracy and health and well being. I am not seeing how this is following that. I have emailed the school and will see what they say... no answer yet!

Euphemia Thu 12-May-16 17:42:55

We stagger our lunches - P1 and P2 go ten minutes before the rest. Does your DD's school do that?

Tonis2297 Thu 12-May-16 17:49:27

I also went to one of these 'new' Scottish schools and they are tiny I'm 21 btw wink we had 45 minutes for lunch and were not rushed to eat YANBU ! I'd go mad as some above said food is a huge issue for a lot of kids my son has sensory difficulties (he has autism) and if you try and rush his food heel either refuse to eat the full lot or vomit it back up! I'd definetly be getting on to the education board if I were you smile

RaeSkywalker Thu 12-May-16 17:50:23

I was in the 'slow eaters club' at primary school. I reckon it took me about 45 minutes to finish lunch. I would've been stuffed at your DDs school.

Do they have any provision for children who cannot eat within the 15 minutes? Surely if a child is not eating their lunch every single day, they will have to do something?

BillBrysonsBeard Thu 12-May-16 17:54:27

15 mins not enough for young kids at all. They need time! Many don't have much appetite so won't get enough in in 15 mins. Secondary school is different, they wolf it down!

YokoWakarimasen Thu 12-May-16 18:58:42

Euphemia - it is in shifts, rather than staggered, so they all get the same time to eat, but in two sittings.

I don't think anyone even knows if she has eaten her lunch or not... it comes home more often than not and nothing has been said. She only started school two months ago (we moved from abroad) and I had been meaning to ask about this for a while, but had partly put it down to adjusting.

Tonis - this one is only 6 or 7 years old!!

Euphemia Thu 12-May-16 21:07:54

I guess the problem is that if they give them longer, lunchtime takes longer. If they started lunch earlier, who would supervise? If there were longer "sittings", would half of the school then be out in the playground? Who would supervise that?

Cubtrouble Thu 12-May-16 22:38:12

The teachers! Who should be given 5 minutes flat to eat their lunches grin

I am joking

YokoWakarimasen Fri 13-May-16 07:52:07

Half the school is out on the playground afaik - they switch over to eat lunch, but line up on rainy days.

They have lunchtime supervisors, it isn't the teachers. I suppose they would need more or to pay them longer. I just don't see how they can do this and say health and well being are at the heart of the curriculum .

5Foot5 Fri 13-May-16 08:23:04

That is ridiculous. I think I would struggle to eat lunch in 15 minutes as an adult let alone a 6 year old.

Like a PP I was in the slow eaters club at school and it is not as simple as just cracking on and not dithering. I physically couldn't eat any faster, and believe me I tried. There was a rule that nobody on the table could go out to play until everybody on the table had finished eating, so imagine the pressure being the last one with food and all the others urging you to get a move on and get it eaten. It doesn't make you quicker, quite the reverse it becomes impossible to swallow and every mouthful is an ordeal.

Also I am sure there is a theory that slow eaters are less likely to overeat than fast eaters so in a time when childhood obesity is a concern then surely children should not be encouraged to guzzle their food as fast as possible.

YANBU I think this is a dreadful policy and would be objecting to it

switswoo81 Fri 13-May-16 08:33:55

Children in my class (5 years old) get 10 minutes at break time and 10 minutes at lunch to eat packed lunch. Now they go home at 1:30 but there has never been problems or complaints with this.

YokoWakarimasen Fri 13-May-16 10:34:56

switswoo81 really? you think ten minutes is enough?

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