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WHAT??? Banning Packed Lunches!

(171 Posts)
MojitoMagnet Fri 12-Jul-13 06:50:36

So apparently Packed Lunches are likely to be banned!

guardian article

I suspect the main reason is to drive down the cost-per-meal for school dinners. The idea that anyone should be able to dictate what my child eats is so repugnant I'm lost for words. By all means give schools the power to intervene if a particular child is regularly sent to school with a bag of crisps and a mars bar, but taking the choice away from everyone else is ridiculous!

worley Fri 12-Jul-13 06:56:22

And how are we to pay for the extra cost of school dinners? Even if they were £1 a day with two children that's still an extra £40 a week to find.

OddBoots Fri 12-Jul-13 07:01:47

How is that going to work with children with multiple allergies?

BriefcaseOfFacts Fri 12-Jul-13 07:01:59

LOL! Let go of your pearls ladies. They are onlytrialling it in two London Boroughs. Unless they are prepared to make school dinners nut/egg/gluten free etc, halal and kosher it will not be feasible for no children to be allowed pack lunches. The theories behind it are all very well and good but in practice children are fussy buggers and there are huge numbers of children (my dd included) who simply wouldn't eat between breakfast and dinner if they had to have school lunches.

Another stroke of genius from the government. I wouldn't be surprised if that prick Gove had a hand in it, trying to boost children's brainpower.

tapdancingelephant Fri 12-Jul-13 07:04:00

I'm not sure I get the outrage over 'dictating' what a child eats, but then I went to schools where packed lunches were not an option, and 2 of my children do so now. I would love to be able to stop doing packed lunches for my third child too.

The cost issue is a big factor, along with quality (I would not be happy with turkey twizzler style meals)

curlew Fri 12-Jul-13 07:05:13

Loads of private schools don't allow packed lunches.....

picnicbasketcase Fri 12-Jul-13 07:06:10

It's simply not workable, as already mentioned - dietary restrictions, allergies etc have to be considered. It won't happen. Besides which, I have two DC - yesterday one had a school lunch and the other a packed lunch. The packed lunch consisted of a wholemeal bread sandwich, an apple, a small piece of flapjack and a carton of juice. The school lunch was pizza, a yogurt and a chocolate milkshake. Hmm.

mankyscotslass Fri 12-Jul-13 07:07:32

I just watched this on the news.

I have three in primary scjhool at the moment - in September I will have 2 in primary, and one in Secondary.

In primary dinners are £1.85 each per day, so over the course of a week £27.75 for my three -I can and DO provide a healthy balanced packed lunch for all three for less than that.

When my eldest goes to Secondary school they operate a menu choice system and say the average child will spend between £3 and £3.50 a day. So that would be £18.50 a week for the two in primary, plus at best another £15 for my eldest at secondary school.

There is no way we can afford school dinner for my tribe - even DH and I take a packed lunch to work!

CaptainSweatPants Fri 12-Jul-13 07:08:37

* Even if they were £1 a day with two children that's still an extra £40 a week to find.*

Er no , you need to review your numbers

2x £2 a day for a week does not make £40!

Dolallytats Fri 12-Jul-13 07:09:13

Does anyone know what two London Boroughs this is being trialed? I have a very fussy oik of a DS who, like someone said earlier, would go the whole day with nothing to eat if this really (however unlikely) did happen.

CaptainSweatPants Fri 12-Jul-13 07:09:32

It's a tenner not £40

But who charges £1 for Sch dimmed anyway

Ours are £2.20

ariane5 Fri 12-Jul-13 07:10:06

I think it will be wonderful, will save me making packed lunches each day.

I wonder what lovely things they will come up with for ds1 who is allergic to milk, eggs, niuts and shellfish and dd2 who is allergic to eggs, nuts and shellfish and is diabetic hmm

noblegiraffe Fri 12-Jul-13 07:10:42

I would not be happy paying for a meal that my DS wouldn't eat. At least with a packed lunch I know he will eat it.

I don't particularly want school lunch supervisors trying to force him to eat it either.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Fri 12-Jul-13 07:12:26

This whole thing infuriates me. Firstly I can't see how banning packed lunches would be workable, how parents could be dictated to in that way is beyond me.

It is amusing how much focus primary school lunches are getting when it is dire at secondary level. There is often not enough seating, so kids eat standing up, bacon rolls, bagels, etc on sale every morning break, vending machines with 'healthy' snacks such as....crisps.

Addictedtomaltesers Fri 12-Jul-13 07:14:45

Err I'm sorry, when did our Government turn into a dictatorship?

It's outrageous that the government can even suggest enforcing such a ban. They are there to provide sensible advice, raise public awareness and offer guidance. They should not have any interest in dictating what people eat.

Beside the above, I've got 3 children and 1 on the way. When they're all at school, at £2 per child per day that's £40 per week on school dinners, £160 per month! Ludicrous!

YoniMatopoeia Fri 12-Jul-13 07:17:03

DD's school has no facility at all for cooking school lunches, so they can't bring this in here. Also when we were in bucks, there were no school lunched

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 12-Jul-13 07:17:20

It's the cost of school dinners that makes this unworkable IMO.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Jul-13 07:25:26

When I was young we were never allowed packed lunches- not even in 6th form- the choice was school dinner or go home.

Growlithe Fri 12-Jul-13 07:28:58

I have to admit that cost, allergies, fussy eating and religious restrictions aren't a problem for me, so I don't mind mine wanting to be on school dinners.

What is a problem is the younger ones not getting guided into making a sensible choice of a balanced meal, for example having just beans and chips because they didn't notice the fish until it was too late and they can't go back because of the queue. hmm

The other problem is they may provide a healthy meal but they don't give them enough time to eat it.

Passmethecrisps Fri 12-Jul-13 07:30:24


The school I work in doesn't have enough physical space for every child to have a school lunch.

I also think the quality of what is produced would need to be improved massively before this was genuinely about 'healthy and quality food'.

Feeding children is an emotive issue, that's for sure.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 12-Jul-13 07:35:19

Yes, I agree with that growlithe.

Peachyjustpeachy Fri 12-Jul-13 07:36:40

My dd begs for packed lunches. She gets ham wrap,apple juice,pear,yogurt and perhaps cherries. I know it's light on veg!

But she will eat school roast dinner or jacket potato and beans.

However........If they have school dinners they spend a lot of time queuing indoors. She wants to be running around in the fresh air.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 12-Jul-13 07:37:39

Regarding allergies religious needs DD is at a private school that has compulsory lunches they have Muslim, Hindu and Jewish children who they are feeding. Many, many children with complex allergies including one child who has some very unusual and severe allergies.

Meglet Fri 12-Jul-13 07:39:26

The DC's school is offering 2 weeks of free school dinners for all reception children in September. Presumably to persuade a few more kids to have them.

My DC's would never have packed lunch, luckily they're not fussy, it's a PITA to make and I'd rather they have hot food in them during the cold months. The school are very good at catering for DS's allergies too. We're in Hampshire.

I can't see how they'll fit in all these extra school meals though.

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Fri 12-Jul-13 07:40:51

I could not afford school dinners not a £2.00 a day. I have 2 dc at school and 1 dc who will start school September 2014 thats £20 a week then £30 a week from September 2014 Its simply unaffordable.

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