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AIBU to think school dinners are too much (food wise)?

(228 Posts)
DragonPies Mon 27-Feb-17 10:33:10

There's always something like fish & chips, pie & mash, etc. and then a desert!

DD then has a dinner (around 6pm) and I feel like it's way too much. She's even getting a bit chubby.

I appreciate that I can stop school dinners (which I will be doing) but they shouldn't be giving kids stuff that could make them put on weight, surely?

DearMrDilkington Mon 27-Feb-17 10:34:59

Be thankful they aren't serving fry ups like dds school! I'd love them to serve pie and mashenvy

IamFriedSpam Mon 27-Feb-17 10:35:09

I agree they should be healthy meals I do wish they wouldn't give a full desert every day (usually chocolate cake, banoffee pie etc. at my son's school - why not a yogurt or some fruit?). Especially as they often don't have that much time or space to run around.

NoraDora Mon 27-Feb-17 10:37:07

Your child eats 5 out of 21 meals in school. It's unlikely that the dinners are making her chubby. If you really think they are, feed her less at home

HakeLively Mon 27-Feb-17 10:37:09

Well how old is she? Because in most schools there's a choice. If she eats a big meal at lunch why give her another at 6pm? Two hot meals a day is not needed every single day, neither is dessert.

YABU to say she is 'getting a little chubby'.

longdiling Mon 27-Feb-17 10:37:37

Are you sure it is the school dinner alone making your dd 'chubby'? I thought portion sizes were pretty small at Primary school. Plus the desserts, while sounding very sugary, are generally low sugar I thought?

Sirzy Mon 27-Feb-17 10:37:43

The portions are tiny and the menus are "balanced" over the week though. Generally the puddings are now made as low sugar versions of things.

Given that it is 5 meals out of the whole week and term time only I would say generally they are highly unlikely to be the reason for a child putting on weight!

Wantagoodname Mon 27-Feb-17 10:38:31

School dinners are small though and you could give a lighter but filling dinner

DelphineCormier Mon 27-Feb-17 10:38:42

Just give her a sandwich in the evening. Problem solved.

StewieGMum Mon 27-Feb-17 10:39:22

It might be too much for your child but they aren't too much for many children, especially in upper primary. The deserts are included because portion sizes are so small that kids need the extra calories. Equally, for some children school dinners are the meal they get. In a perfect system, children would be allowed to eat as little/ as much as they want but that's not how the system works. It runs on averages and averages don't work when comparing the amount of calories needed for a small 5 year old versus a tall 12 year old.

JumpingJetFlash Mon 27-Feb-17 10:39:59

Why not give her a smaller meal in the evening? My dd has a school dinner every day but a lighter sandwich type tea to balance it out.

DragonPies Mon 27-Feb-17 10:40:47

She can't have a different dinner to the family?

She has very little at home. Everyone else is a healthy weight. That's the only explanation. I'll be stopping them soon, so I'll be able to see.

However, they don't seem particularly healthy.

Cheby Mon 27-Feb-17 10:41:20

My DD is not in school yet but the daily puddings do worry me a bit. Surely you just adjust at home though? If she has had a big hot meal at lunchtime, I would probably just make something small at dinner time (sandwiches, omelette or salad etc with fruit or yoghurt).

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Mon 27-Feb-17 10:41:36

but they shouldn't be giving kids stuff that could make them put on weight, surely?

All food can make you put on weight. What is your solution then? How do they feed 4 year olds up to 11 years old the exact right amount without knowing what they eat for all their other meals?

If its too much food for YOUR child you need to teach them to stop eating when they are full.

lottieandmia Mon 27-Feb-17 10:42:01

The portion sizes of school lunches are tiny.

My dd is tiny - she needs all the calories she can get even though she eats big portions at home.

Cheby Mon 27-Feb-17 10:42:07

Why can't she have a different dinner to the rest of the family? Or a much smaller portion?

Freddorika Mon 27-Feb-17 10:42:29

How old is she? I'd say it's massively unlikely the school dinners are making her fat unless the whole cohort is overweight.

llangennith Mon 27-Feb-17 10:42:57

If she really is getting chubby then don't blame school dinners. Snacking on anything other than fruit, or large portions, is the usual reason for weight gain. It starts at home.

needapaddle Mon 27-Feb-17 10:43:15

YABU, I think their portions are appropriately tiny and these days (especially since the Jamie Oliver campaigns) a lot of thought is put into the nutritional content and balance within the very tight cost restraints.

Plus children do need carbohydrates and fat to grow and function properly, admittedly the whole 'sugar for pudding' thing is a bit hard to justify, but as part of a balanced diet is not the end of the world. Add in the fact that there are a lot of parents who don't will be feeding them a lot worse at home as well as it being the only hot meal some children get and I think the schools on the whole do a brilliant job.

Also given that the percentage of meals she has at school is less than 25% of her diet and that is only for 36 weeks of the year, if she does have a potential issue with weight (which really shouldn't be labelled as chubby if possible) then you need to focus elsewhere for the cause/the solution.

blubberball Mon 27-Feb-17 10:43:44

Maybe give her a smaller portion of dinner in the evenings. Or go on to packed lunches if you're unhappy.

Bluntness100 Mon 27-Feb-17 10:43:51

Usually there is also healthy options and she doesn't need to eat dessert. I'd agree with the poster who said it's five meals out of 21 so unlikely to be school dinners that's the issue.

DragonPies Mon 27-Feb-17 10:44:15

Oh, she isn't 'fat'. I'd say her weight has increased since starting school dinners (she never fancied them before).

She's 9.

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Mon 27-Feb-17 10:44:45

Admittedly I only have a baby so I've no idea about school dinners but surely the portions aren't huge? So when you say fish and chips it's just a small piece of fish and a handful of chips? Which wouldn't be an outrageous Meal.

There is always packed lunches to giving just a sandwich/ smaller home cooked meal in the evening

Sirzy Mon 27-Feb-17 10:45:02

Ds is underweight. He needs high calorie meals. Even with school dinners every day he isn't putting on weight.

But therein lies the problem. You can't expect school meals to cater to each individual. They have to go for the option which is going to work for the majority both with the types of food they offer and the nutritional content.

Realistically I know that school dinners aren't going to help ds put on weight but as he won't eat most packed lunch options it is the better option overall.

Freddorika Mon 27-Feb-17 10:45:22

Fwiw dd is like a stick and we wish school dinners were a bit bigger! However, I don't give her a big cooked dinner if she doesn't want it. Sometimes she just has a sandwich, fruit yogurt type tea.

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