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To not want to do packed lunches?

(200 Posts)
TickledOnion Sun 19-Nov-17 21:31:21

Just had DD1 (age 8) in tears because she desperately wants to move to packed lunches. It's all or nothing at her school. You sign up for a term of school dinners or packed lunches.

All her friends have packed lunches and they sit in a different dining hall to eat. So she has to sit with the same 2 girls everyday as they are the only ones is her year who are on school dinners. She doesn't dislike these girls but they aren't her close friends.

She likes some of the food but not the overcooked veg and there are a couple of days where she really doesn't like the meat bit of the meal.

My reasons are that I really, really hate making packed lunch. I am a single parent so it is just more mental load and more stuff to do each day. DDs are not particularly helpful around the house and I feel like I have enough to do nagging them to do every single thing every day. They do very little without being asked 20 times.

And it's a balanced meal that I don't have to think about. It's stuff like meatballs and pasta or bbq chicken and rice. Which means I don't feel guilty if I do pizza or fish fingers or beans on toast occasionally for tea.

And if I did it for one I'd probably have to do it for both.

So, AIBU to say no despite the tears?

ThisIsMyUsername02123 Sun 19-Nov-17 21:33:24

I would make the packed lunch, but make it so awful that she asks to switch back anyway! Good luck. grin

ferrier Sun 19-Nov-17 21:34:56

I stood my ground too so obviously I don't think YABU.
They do like to lay the guilt trip on though.
I did get lucky because their school like yours separated the school dinners and packed lunch pupils so I complained to the school, pointing out that they would reduce school dinner take up and they did change their rule.

isittheholidaysyet Sun 19-Nov-17 21:37:16

I made mine wait till age 8/9, because at that age they can make it themselves if we are running late.

But yes, I hate it. Especially as mine don't seen to like packed lunch food.

MamaDoGood Sun 19-Nov-17 21:39:28

I would tell her if she started to help with some chores/around the house. Then the new term after christmas she can be packed lunch until easter.
Use it to your advantage !
If she doesnt help then she has to be school dinners. Shes old enough to know consequences now x

OddestSock Sun 19-Nov-17 21:39:56

i hate doing packed lunches, but i relented when DD1 started year 3, because i didn't want to spend £10+ a week on school dinners. she has to have school dinners on the days i work, but has packed lunch on the other days. DD2 also now gets a packed lunch 2 days a week.

it's just trying to think of what to put in lunches every day that gets me.

MamaDoGood Sun 19-Nov-17 21:40:14

Oh and i hate doing packed lunches too btw. You are not alone grin

treeofhearts Sun 19-Nov-17 21:48:23

Well at 8 she is old enough to be able to say if you want packed lunches that is fine but you'll have to make them. I would. If she doesn't do it, a few days of skipping lunch won't hurt her and she'll either decide to pull her finger out or take her school dinners without complaint.

Dafspunk Sun 19-Nov-17 21:53:35

Oh come on, have a heart - it’d be shit to miss out on sitting with your proper pals.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 19-Nov-17 21:56:17

At 8, she is old enough to make her own packed lunch. If she really wants to have them, that's her option.

reallybadidea Sun 19-Nov-17 21:56:45

She should be capable of making it herself, especially if she's desperate to switch. My ds was making his own from the first day of reception (he's fiercely independent, I'm not completely neglectful!)

MrsMotherHen Sun 19-Nov-17 21:56:59

I would just make a pack lunch up. Its not hard really is it? A ham sandwhich, yogurt, crisps and fruit then a drink.

Failing that if she wants them that much get her to make her own up.

BarbarianMum Sun 19-Nov-17 22:00:17

8 years old is old enough to make a packed lunch if you provide all the component bits. Why not tell her she can have them if she agrees to make them up the night before.

firawla Sun 19-Nov-17 22:00:25

Her reason for wanting them is fair. In your situation I think I’d say, she can but had to make them ready the night before / morning (depending on your schedule) and if she causes an issue with not doing it or having to be nagged then next term id put her back on school dinners. Then if it’s important to her, she has the chance to make that choice and get them ready each day

TickledOnion Sun 19-Nov-17 22:01:23

Maybe she could make her own. I think it would just be another thing to nag her to do and I’d end up doing it myself as it’s easier.

SavoyCabbage Sun 19-Nov-17 22:04:39

My nephew started making his own in year one as my sister felt like you did. It seemed to work just fine. He’s in year four now and he’s still doing it.

My dd has either pasta (in a thermos funtainer) or stuff that is not a sandwich but is like one in one of those divided up lunchboxes. Tomorrow’s is a brioche, some chicken schnitzel, fruit and a yogurt. She will often have stuff like a sausage roll or a samosa.

SavoyCabbage Sun 19-Nov-17 22:06:07

Sorry, my point was supposed to be I really just shove stuff in there, I don’t stand there making sandwiches. Or defrost pasta.

Pibplob Sun 19-Nov-17 22:07:23

It only takes 5 mins to make a packed lunch and you / she can do it the night before. I would do it as it's nice to make them happy with little things.

YetAnotherNC2017 Sun 19-Nov-17 22:10:35

I have an inexplicable hatred for making packed lunches too. However, I do it, for the same reasons as your DD.

It takes five minutes to make a sandwich, chuck in some fruit/veg and a yogurt.

Try it for a term. She could also probably make her own if she feels that strongly about it.

Just a tip but I make sure to keep long life stuff like sugar free jelly/pots of fruit and tinned tuna and sweetcorn for when we run out of fresh stuff. Objectively speaking it isn’t that difficult to throw a lunch together.

dorislessingscat Sun 19-Nov-17 22:10:43

I hate it but I do it because DD begged.

Rules are:

I make the stuff that’s tricky/involves using a sharp knife.

DD does the rest (yoghurt, water bottle etc.)

She unpacks and cleans it after school. If it’s lying dirty in her school bag the following morning then she gets a school dinner.

And they need to pick up on chores. It’s not fair on you if they do nothing.

Witsender Sun 19-Nov-17 22:12:45

It doesn't take long, it is fair enough she wants to sit with her friends

DiegoMadonna Sun 19-Nov-17 22:16:15

When I was around that age I went through the exact same thing. I hated school dinners and all my friends had packed lunches. My mum told me I could only have packed lunch if I made it myself, so I did! All she did was make sure there was always sliced bread and sandwich fillings in the house, and then I'd make a sandwich before school, + 1 packet of crisps and + 1 piece of fruit, and be on my way.

AuditAngel Sun 19-Nov-17 22:18:01

At DS's school, school lunches are compulsory, including for the staff!

I have endured whining about school dinners for over 9 years now, only another 10 to go

Skittlesandbeer Sun 19-Nov-17 22:21:03

It’s all very well to say the kid should make her own, but it’s the rest of the faff isn’t it?

She’s not the one who’ll have to plan, shop, cart around, portion, check for nutrition, veto certain junk foods, and check that leftovers and packs are still within dates?

Packed lunches lead to more stress and arguments, even if they like it. Then the ‘Joelle’s Mum puts in hers, I want it too’ or the ‘Everyone but me has the Smiggle lunch box’ starts up.

I’d try changing the school’s policy as a pp suggested, and failing that a one-term trial of packed lunch with very firm conditions.

I HATE packed lunches sooooo much!

Lovemusic33 Sun 19-Nov-17 22:22:54

Having the same issue with my dd, only problem is she gets free school meals and so does her sister so it saves me a fortune as I only need to feed them a sandwich when they get home. Dd1 is now asking for a packed lunch so she doesn't have to waste her lunch break queuing for food so she can spend more time with her friends.

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