Edinburgh school lunches

(10 Posts)
duck94 Wed 04-Jul-12 21:22:23

Does anyone have experience of changing their school lunch menu for the better? Our son starts school in August and we're dismayed about what they're peddling. Thanks in advance.

Groovee Thu 05-Jul-12 09:37:32

My dd loved school lunches in Primary that she went every day. Ds is a bit fussier so doesn't go every day. But goes at least 2 day a week. Ours are cooked on the premises. As someone who sometimes has a school lunch with nursery children, I do think cooking on the premises makes a difference to it being delivered in from another kitchen. I've tasted dinners at the childrens school and they taste lovely and fresh, but I've had pizza before which was like cardboard and horrible having been brought in from another school.

My dd only went to school dinners when her school started cooking at the school again. That was half way through P1. She happily went on Packed lunches before that.

Does your school offer a tasting day? This is when you go and have lunch with your child before they go full time. I found it helpful for ds to have me there and then big sister looked out for him when he went himself.

duck94 Thu 05-Jul-12 21:24:06

Thanks Groovee. Our school does the cooking on the premises. The food is just junk though. The four week sample menu (which comes directly from the council) which I have seen features pizza, chips and beans every single week, with macaroni cheese (served with potatoes FFS!) sausage or burger (and even chicken nuggets and fish finger!) based lunches on offer on other days. They've done what annoying restauranteurs do, and put down crap that they think kids will eat, rather than just give small portions of normal food like you'd cook at home. The vegetarian options are a total afterthought. It's bloody infuriating. I thought all this had changed post-Jamie!

So, come on... who has taken on this issue in their school and had success, or did you come up against a brick wall?

I will of course provide a packed lunch every day if need be, but would prefer that children didn't have to eat a cold lunch for their entire school life, as the only way to get decent food. Schools should just provide healthy food. It's not difficult or expensive.

And while I'm on my rant, is it true that they feed them from those horrible plastic trays that you get in prison, with plastic cutlery?!

Groovee Fri 06-Jul-12 04:44:47

Mmm ours is a 3 week rolling menu. Pizza made with a wholemeal base. Dd loves mac cheese (gets that from me) and the oven baked sausages are lovely too. Dd does however miss the roast pork they used to do. The school does have plastic trays but metal cutlery. But each school may be different.DS loves the meatballs and pasta bolognaise. He's had the salmon nuggets but wasn't amused by them but he liked the wholemeal coating.

There is also a baked potato option which was only introduced last year which dd much prefers some days. There never used to be that option.

I don't think a hot lunch is necessary. But I wouldn't pay £1.75 for their packed lunches at school dinners. You could provide a flask with soup or a hot meal of it bothered you that much.

The menu changes every 6 months too if it's under Edinburgh catering. So pizza every week was only introduced in April. Menu will change in October again.

scrablet Fri 06-Jul-12 05:04:36

DD2 loves them, and will always have the pizza if she can. She loves the split pea soup too, and the haddock 'bites'. She also enjoys the baked potato which she has with tuna I believe.
I am happy she eats anything at lunchtime tbh, as I do a packed lunch for DD1, and am not happy about what I put in it at her request, but just need to be sure something is in her tummy!
(I don't think the children equate the trays with prison, surely it is the other way round anyway, that prisoners eat from children's utensils?)

CatherinaJTV Fri 06-Jul-12 17:29:48

I found the menu choice really desperate and we never let the kids eat them (but we may be snobs)

duck94 Fri 06-Jul-12 18:18:19

There's nothing snobbish about not letting your children eat shit food, catherina! That should be a normal stance for parents to take.

It's depressing that many parents spend 5 years giving kids good, healthy food and crucially, a broad palate, for the school (supposed to be on our side!) to totally undermine us each weekday. Kids will inevitably come to see the school food as normal.

OwlMother Fri 06-Jul-12 22:36:05

I'm not sure kids ever come to see school food as normal! School food isn't ideal, and is full of those strange combinations. Double carbs often seem to creep in.

My children always used to prefer packed lunches - one awful day the parents were "invited" (read blackmailed) in to coming to a BBQ style lunch. The quality of the meat products was so bad that even on my laziest days I never again tried to badger them into school lunches! My mum is a primary deputy head and says that in her school at least, the quality went markedly downhill when the menus ( and purchasing etc) was totally centralised and cooks hours were shortened (thus making actual cooking difficult)

However, I am of the opinion that if we give the children two healthy meals in a day then the other meal can be a bit of a compromise, whether it be school dinners or packed lunch, which like Scrablet, I tend to fill with things that are slightly less healthy than would normally be eaten at home. School dinners are pretty grim, but you can choose not to have them.

FluffyNot Wed 22-Aug-12 00:56:29

duck94, you would have to convince the council as it's the same menu for all state primaries in Edinburgh. You would be even more annoyed if you knew that last term instead of the baked potatoes -every day- as the third option you could choose from a vegetarian packed lunch or non-veg, giving 4 options each day.
Kids from P4 and up could have the school packed lunch and eat it outside. Now that they have removed this option those kids have to eat inside thus giving them even less time outside than they already have each day. Apparently the reason for the change is to reduce the amount of packaging. I would have thought our kid's health and more opportunity to play outside was more important... By all means campaign to improve the meals , I know of parents at the school who would support you.

duck94 Tue 11-Sep-12 20:39:16


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