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school dinners

(38 Posts)
mummaj2010 Wed 18-May-16 13:12:33

does anyone elses kids come home starving because all they have eaten at school is a roll or sandwich?i opt for her to have a school meal but apparently they have sandwiches wraps and rolls as an option,surely if you wanted them to have a sandwich you would send a packed lunch?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 18-May-16 13:15:53

What stage of school?
Ds in year 7 is always starving as he eats rubbish at school.
He gets free dinners, but often chooses a sandwich.

HallowedMimic Wed 18-May-16 13:16:30

Well the 'hot' option isn't much better here, pizza, fish fingers and a tiny spoon of mash, a sausage of dubious origin...

My (primary aged) child was always starving because the portions were tiny, or the food unappetising.

We go with a packed lunch now. It isn't such a problem at secondary though.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 18-May-16 13:16:42

Juniors were better.
The choice was
Take it or leave it.
Meat option or veggie option.

EatShitDerek Wed 18-May-16 13:17:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummaj2010 Wed 18-May-16 13:19:58

reception,its a pain cos I opted for school dinners so she can have something light of an evening as I work eves,but now shes mostly coming out saying shes had a sarny so I have to quickly whip her up a meal

hollie11 Wed 18-May-16 13:25:54

Worked in a primary dinner portions were tiny and food generally looked confused. My daughter always goes to school with packed lunch

DramaInPyjamas Wed 18-May-16 13:26:13

Because the younger ones get to queue up first and have first choice, my kids, who are in the older classes are usually left with what is left - sandwiches/wraps/salads
They always come home hungry so we eat dinner at around 4pm. Which means I am usually feeling hungry later on in the evening

HallowedMimic Wed 18-May-16 13:26:18

Well free food is free food, and eating with her friends will be nice.

I have never though of school lunches as a meal though, more a mid-day snack.

mummaj2010 Wed 18-May-16 13:35:37

so if your child has a school meal,do you still cook them a meal at home or do they have a sarny or something on toast?

RunnerOnTheRun Wed 18-May-16 13:38:09

We have an amazing selection of food that they are allowed to have as well as the cold sandwich/wrap/roll if that's what they want. So if they have a roll they STILL get the carb option (rice, pasta) AND the whole salad bar and the choice of 3 hot veg (they can have any or all). Plus a desert.

The wrap/roll/sandwich only replaces the hot food element of the school dinner (a dollop of spag bol, a piece of pie, sausage etc). Check it out.

chunkymum1 Wed 18-May-16 13:57:23

When my DC started school I believed (based on all the press at the time about improvements to school meals, messages from school about balanced meals cooked on the premises and a tempting looking menu provided to parents) that school dinners would give them a 'proper' meal during the day so I would only really need to provide a sandwich, beans on toast etc at tea time.

The menu provided by school shows a choice of a hot meat option, veggie option, jacket potato or sandwich plus a salad bar, fresh vegetables, dessert and fresh fruit. The DC often said they chose the sandwich/jacket potato option as they didn't like the look of the main meal, that there was none of what they wanted left when they got to the front of the queue or that they chose a sandwich as they were told they had to hurry up to finish in time. I did not entirely believe them. Until I happened to be in school at lunch time and stayed for lunch. The food was definitely not as advertised- hot options weren't, vegetables were watery and didn't look fresh, couldn't see any evidence of a salad bar. Portions were about right for a reception child but nothing like enough for a large year 6. By half way through lunch time the most popular options had all gone and by the end of lunch time staff were going round to children who had only just sat down (each year group goes in to lunch at a different time) and asking them to move tables so they could start clearing away.

I've taken this up with school but little seems to be changing. DC now take packed lunches and I accept that their main meal has to beat tea time. I have also asked school why sandwiches are an option at lunch (as I also did not really want my DC having a sandwich when I had paid for a hot dinner) and the response I got was that some children wouldn't eat anything if this was not on offer and so that children on free school meals could still choose to eat a cold lunch. Not sure I'm convinced either would be valid if hot lunches were what the menu says they should be.

megletthesecond Wed 18-May-16 14:00:14

hallowed same here. Big breakfast, school dinners and a snack straight from school when walking home.

BeautyQueenFromMars Wed 18-May-16 14:09:35

At DS's school, you have to book which meal you want them to have. Menus are sent out at the beginning of each term, and you choose from:

Hot meal - meat or veggie, or
Packed lunch (usually a wrap, sometimes a sarnie) - meat or veggie, or
Pasta (cold) - only one choice of pasta, sometimes it's veggie, sometimes not, or
Jacket potato - child chooses from range of toppings on the day.
Free bread and fruit available each day if child wishes to have some.

Yesterday, DS had cottage pie and veg with a banana muffin for pudding. Today he's had roast beef with roasties, yorkshire pud and gravy.

I assumed (incorrectly, obviously!) that all schools did this, it make sense to me.

BeautyQueenFromMars Wed 18-May-16 14:09:48

makes sense.

Hersetta427 Wed 18-May-16 14:12:37

Our school does 'pupil choice' meaning that the children choose themselves each morning what they want for lunch that day from the options available - even 4 yr old reception children.

I did complain after the first two days when despite telling DS (4) to choose Spag bol and a roast dinner he choose a cheese roll and a ham sandwich.

As his mother I felt I was entitled to make the decision of what we ate for lunch...head said they were trying to encourage independence! He didn't even eat the ham sandwich as he said he didn't like the Ham....arghh. DD is 8 and I trust her to lake a good choice - I know though she would never choose the sandwich option as she hates butter on sandwiches.

PatriciaHolm Wed 18-May-16 14:13:19

Mine have always had school lunches and then a good meal in the evening as well as snack straight after school! Their lunches are good, mostly, but the portions just aren't very big really.

mummaj2010 Wed 18-May-16 14:13:28

we get sent the menu and we have to opt in for school dinners but the children just pick what they want themselves

Pinkheart5915 Wed 18-May-16 14:16:29

My ds is only a baby, but I pick my nephew who's 12 up from school once a week for tea and he is always starving he needs a snack once home then dinner & dessert and still wants more.
His school canteen has hot meals and a salad/ sandwich bar and he always has a wrap of some kind with nothing else

LaserShark Wed 18-May-16 14:23:28

5yo DS chooses and always gets the curry, pasta, jacket potato, roast salmon or whatever - ie, a hot meal which sounds filling. He couldn't be fobbed off with a sandwich for dinner though, he has a snack after school and then tea as well. I don't think school dinners are big portions and I think in reception they're using up tons of energy in the afternoon playing. I also have no way of knowing how much of the lunch he ate, just that he's hungry! Mind you, at home I quite often cook lunch and dinner anyway so maybe fish fingers and beans for lunch then a roast dinner for tea. It's probably equivalent.

FrenchJunebug Wed 18-May-16 14:28:00

Have you asked to see the menu? My son is at reception and he has a hot meal every lunchtime. Sandwiches are a choice for older kids only. It could be your child doesn't like the food

TeenAndTween Wed 18-May-16 14:30:35

OP. There should be a way to ensure your DD gets a hot meal.
Imagine if a child were a vegetarian - the school would ensure they didn't pick the meat option.
Could the teacher who takes the order have a mark against her name to know she has to have a hot meal?
Or you discuss with your DD what she is going to choose?

FarAwayHills Wed 18-May-16 14:32:21

I have given up paying for school meals as my DDs were always complaining and came home starving. The menus and glossy brochures all sound lovely but they are a world away from what is served up at school.

IMO the quality of the food went downhill when FSM were introduced for KS1. The tiny portion sizes also became an issue for DD in Y6 and they also regularly ran out of main meals options despite having booked a particular option.

Scholes34 Wed 18-May-16 14:45:25

Too much choice means the people at the back of the queue have no choice. Perhaps giving no options above meat or vegetarian is the way to go? When I was at school, there was just the one option and the favourite meal for everyone in my junior school was liver (I don't recall any vegetarians).

arethereanyleftatall Wed 18-May-16 14:49:53

I was a dinner lady for a while. The school dinners at my dc school are brilliant. Healthy and good sizes. Unlimited salad bar. My dc, one also in reception is not allowed (my rule) to choose the sandwich option. She has to have the roast etc.

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