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When to give up on school dinners.....

(14 Posts)
Topsy44 Wed 28-Sep-16 10:32:53

My Ds has started in Reception and has been having school dinners for 2 weeks. He is incredibly fussy. He tells me he's worried about the dinners because there are lots of things he doesn't like but is encouraged to try them.

I thought I'd try and hold off resorting to packed lunches until next term to try and give the dinners a chance and live in hope that he will slowly start expanding his palate but I'm finding it really distressing to see him crying about it before he goes to school.

Would you hold out for a bit longer or reach a compromise and say that he can have packed lunch for 3 days and dinner for 2. Just not sure if I'm giving in too soon but I don't want to make his school life miserable because he's worried about the dinners?

Orsono Wed 28-Sep-16 10:50:35

Does he get a choice of meals? At our school they choose from three options. If so, does he maybe need some help from the teacher to choose the one he's most likely to like? At our school they have the week's menus available at the start of the week - if yours can do this too, could you ask for a copy so you can talk through it with him in advance so he knows what to expect? I'd be persevering for a while longer yet, packed lunches are a pain. smile

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 28-Sep-16 10:58:24

We gave up within the week with my oldest and never really went back, they weren't free then though. I did (and still do with my youngest) go through the menu every week and see if they want to have any, DS would have on average one in a three week rotation, DD has on average 3-4 a week. Once you get in a routine with packed lunches it's quite straightforward.

longdiling Wed 28-Sep-16 11:05:31

If he's getting that stressed I'd give up. He's not in the right place/frame of mind to try new food if he's stressed and upset. You never know he may come back to it when he's older if he sees his friends eating and enjoying it. For now, take the pressure off.

Pumpkin2010 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:19:52

I would just give him a packed lunch. Starting a new school is stressful enough for some children so asking him to try all these new foods on top of everything can just be way too much for him.

DS1 went from packed lunch to school dinners by Christmas every single year in primary school! They can go back and forth so don't feel disheartened. He's obviously just not ready. The main thing is that he eats & that he (and you) are not feeling stressed!

KatyN Wed 28-Sep-16 11:34:12

I'd go for packed lunch too. My chap had just started reception and there is so much going on, tears about food would just be too much for both of us!! He also won't be the only one having a packed lunch.

But maybe try lunches that are luminal effort for you?? Sausage rolls etc, then you're not loosing out too much.

willconcern Wed 28-Sep-16 11:37:19

Whyvdo you see it as giving in? Do the school prefer them ti ha e school dinners? I would just do packed lunches for him.

Blueberry234 Wed 28-Sep-16 13:17:02

Our school request if your child is like this to send in a packed lunch as they would rather they ate something than get distressed. I would just send in a packed lunch

Topsy44 Wed 28-Sep-16 13:46:38

Thank you all for your replies. The consensus seems to go with the packed lunch and that's what I wanted to do but felt under a bit of pressure from family/friends. In my circle there don't seem to be any other dcs who are fussy eaters and family/friends seems to have the opinion that if I'm tough on the eating, then my ds will miraculously start eating everything and anything. I know this is bonkers but sometimes the pressure gets to me and I doubt myself!

Am going to switch to packed lunches on the days when I know he won't eat anything that's on the menu. Thanks again, your replies have made me feel much better.

Gizlotsmum Wed 28-Sep-16 13:50:18

We have a 'back up pack up' system at my sons school. Packed lunch goes to office and is only used if they don't eat the school dinner!

Zeitgei5t Sat 01-Oct-16 21:11:17

I think we lasted about 2 days before I gave in and made packed lunch! It is quite frustrating as school lunches are free but I'd rather she ate something especially as she's quite scrawny (though partly from genetics). We're not the only ones though as there's 7 or 8 lunch boxes by the pegs in a morning.

waterrat Sat 01-Oct-16 22:34:19

I wpuld definitely swap to packed lunch. He is settling in to a new overwhelming environment ...why add to his stress

GoldPlatedBacon Sun 02-Oct-16 08:18:51

Please give him a packed lunch. I was a fussy eater as a child, there was about 10-15 things I would eat. Some things were very healthy like certain fruit, veg and fish. However, my dad lost his job and I had to go on free school meals. I basically lived on chips for 5 years as I rarely liked anything else on offer which was pretty miserable.

I'm not a fussy eater any more btw.

stressedbeyond123 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:29:52

we had this problem with my DD, which wasn't helped by the one of the dinner ladies telling her that she must eat what is on her plate! I tell her to try things on her plate and if she doesn't like it then it is ok to leave it, as long as she has tried it.

anyways, i have copies of the menus (weeks 1, 2 and 3) and every Sunday me and DD go through the menu for that week, choose which meals she is having, and on the days she is not having dinners, i do her a lunch box.

she feels very grown up that the decision is hers and we now have no more trouble at lunch times xx

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