dd (7yrs) not eating lunch at school :((15 Posts)
She comes out of school looking pale and ill and barely talks until she has had her tea. She takes a packed lunch but it really picky about what she likes so I am finding it incredibly hard to know what to put in. Typically she will have pasta (plain) and cheese/ crackers and cheese/ sausage roll/ homemade pizza followed by yoghurt, fruit and a biscuit/cake. She eats the yoghurt and fruit but just a bite of the savory and not even all the treat. She doesn't want school dinners as she doesn't like the look of the meals! I am totally at my wits end now.
I think you really need to speak to school about this. I had a similar problem and found out that my DD was experiencing some bullying behaviour in the dining room. Also at our school now they are currently making sure that children eat a suitable amount of their lunches.
Is she eating normally the rest of the time?
Thanks for the quick replies. I hadn't thought about bullying, but I will have a subtle chat with her tonight.
At home she often eats slowly. She can even day dream and seem to forget she is supposed to be eating, so I do sometimes need to prompt her. If she has a cold or is slightly under the weather she really goes off her food, but the rest of the time she eats pretty well.
My son was like this. I went into school one day and spoke to the dinner lady, he was shocked to see me and he threw up! So I began creating cute lunch box I.e bento boxes with cut out sandwiches, sausages, Eggs (food he would normally eat at home!). I even invest in some cute thermos lunch box to keep his food warm. Now he eats his lunch and have school dinners once a week.
Have you talked to her about what food does and why it is important ? Explain to her that she needs to put fuel into her body regularly (just like you filling up the car with petrol when the tank is empty). Explain that if she doesn't eat she will feel very tired and grumpy, and maybe sick. Explain that you can see the difference in her before and after tea - and it is because she has eaten something.
Once she knows all that - work with her to sort out things that she will eat and can eat in the time available (I also have a very slow eater who often gets distracted and forgets to eat). Get her to take an active part in deciding her lunch box. Make it an opportunity to talk about different food types - eg fat, protein, carbohydrates (both sugars and starches). Talk about understanding which foods will give her a quick boost but make her feel more hungry later (say a chocolate bar or piece of fruit), and those that will give her energy for longer (eg a flapjack, piece of homemade pizza).
I know she is only 7 - but old enough to start to understand how the body uses food, how it makes her feel and different types of food.
Ask her teacher to ask the midday supervisors to encourage her to eat more.
Get her involved in cooking. Let her make her own packed lunches plus help you, or whoever does the cooking in your house, in the kitchen.
Let her make some bread. Discuss food and nutrition. Help her to be exited about food.
try setting rules about what order she MUST eat her lunch. My 7 yr old is a right chaterbox and would rather be out playing than eating. He knows he has to eat his sandwich and his fruit. beyond that I don't mind if he leaves his crisps or his biscuit. If he does leave them he eats them on the way home from school.
Some days he just has the sandwich and fruit, some days he eats the lot at lunchtime.
From my time as a dinner lady, year 2 and 3 girls can be very scathing about other childrens lunches. will declare that X or y stinks and anyone who eats it is stinky and that sort of thing. If her lunch is very different to others she may be getting some stick for it. Pasta is not that common in a lunch box.
Ds has stopped eating his lunch mainly because he wants to get outside and play and because he doesn't like the smell of the school dinners so try's to avoid being in the hall any longer than necessary.
Dd was always teased for her lunchbox contents even though it was her favourite foods! Went over to really dull ham sandwich piece of fruit and fromage frais. Packet of crisps on Fridays sometimes tiny choc bar too.
She may be getting teased/ bullied so def talk to lunchtime supervisors.
You could get a lunchbox cookery book and get her to help you plan and fill her box. Or you could explore why she doesn't fancy school dinners. Can she try one? Our school lets you mix and match each day so packed lunch one day school dinner another
what itiswhatitiswhatitis said. Ds hardly eats any lunch, despite having a big appetite at home, because he is in a rush to go outside.
If she is a slow eater, it maybe that she sees her friends going out and wants to join them.
So wait... does she have option of an after school snack but no appetite, or does she have to wait until her tea to eat again which is... how long after school finished?
Make sure she has a decent breakfast, and have something ready for her to eat when she comes out of school. If you do that she should be all right with yoghurt and fruit for lunch. Maybe make sure there is more fruit- something like banana which is more filling?
my ds was not eating his lunch. at the moment he is having the exact same thing every day so it is predictable and something he has agreed to have. He is happy that every day he is having the lunch he has chosen and he knows what order he is eating it in. Eating outside the house can be stressful for my ds so he needs foods that are very quick and easy to eat and also his favourite foods.
oh, and I agree about the decent breakfast. I make sure he has a big breakfast and good size snack as soon as he is home.
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