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packed lunches -is dd's what the school would consider 'unhealthy'

(27 Posts)
Justthisone Fri 14-Jan-11 17:45:10

Yes it's finally happened - a note in the weekly newsletter warning us that they are an accredited 'healthy school' and they make sure the school dinners are healthy, but have noticed some packed lunches are not and to please make sure our kids' packed lunches are healthy.................. tbh my reaction is "well that's not your decision is it??" but hey ho

thing is, dd does not and never has eaten things like tomatoes, cucumber, fruit (except raisins), etc.

Her packed lunches tend to consist of a combination of:

ham sandwiches (yes i know.... but usually real organic ham slices, not the plastic processed shit) - or tuna or chicken sandwiches
pitta or breadsticks & houmous or cream cheese
yoghurt tubes (yeo valley) or cartons
sometimes packet of crisps - have been known to pop in leftover prawn crackers! grin
today i put in 'light toffee popcorn' as a surprise for her! -sometimes a couple of biscuits
tuna mayo & sweetcorn pasta
rice cakes with peanut butter or honey or cheese
mini cheeses
mini pizzas (again, organic, no nasties, no unnecessary saltiness)
Raisins, olives, cashew nuts (only nut she'll eat!)

Her bottle contains water only as she doesn't drink anything else other than milk

She will also sometimes eat raw carrot sticks, and bizarrely raw mushrooms, but they usually come back home uneaten if in packed lunch.

She's in year 3 btw, 7.

schoolsecretary Fri 14-Jan-11 18:10:57

Dont see anything on there that would cause school to say her packed lunch was unhealthy. They are trying to stop packed lunches of 3 bags crisp or tuc biscuits, fizzy drinks and mars bars... I had this lunch handed in to my office by a parent just before we went healthy school. You would be surprised what some people think is appropriate for a small child to have for lunch.

Lonnie Fri 14-Jan-11 18:12:10

They may tcomment abou the the peanut butter and honey and perhaps also the crisps but generally i would say that is a healthy lunchbox My son wont eat fruit at school (says it tastes weird when it has been in the lunch box) so he gets dried fruit he will eat that happilly

claireybear82 Fri 14-Jan-11 18:15:33

apart from the popcorn and crisps i wold say its ok! at our school you cant have:

cake bars of any description
chocolate flavoured yoghurts
etc etc

its funny though - the school dinners leave a lot to be desired. why is it ok to have butterscotch tart or jelly but i cant but a bloody biscuit in? drives me quite mad really.

mine normally have a sandwhich or cob with cheese, quorn, egg etc or a salad wrap
a fruit yoghurt
a piece of fruit
flapjack or something similar

Justthisone Fri 14-Jan-11 18:22:17

Thanks all. Reading my list back, yes, it is fine isn't it. (esp as it's usually all organic, not that the teachers would realise that) She certainly doesn't have crisps every day, maybe once a week, sometimes none at all.

Yes - the school dinners include chocolate sponge cake and chocolate custard sometimes! angry I've nothing against that as such (remember loving it when we had that when i was at school!) but to then dictate that we can't put in a chocolate biscuit for packed lunch seems a nonsense to me!

Unfortunately the newsletter says they'd included a sheet of guidelines but they'd forgotten, so i don't know what their expectations are.

spanieleyes Fri 14-Jan-11 18:36:01

Well it is rather better than one school lunch that came in-a family sized chocolate Swiss Roll ( and that was all shock

Justthisone Fri 14-Jan-11 18:41:59

I can rest assured I think! grin

Teachermumof3 Fri 14-Jan-11 20:32:53

I would never send in peanut butter or cashew nuts as there are so many allergies floating around these days, but the rest sounds fine.

I took my Reception class on a school trip some years back and one of the boys had a Big Mac and fries in his lunchbox that had been purchase on his way to school, 3.5 hours earlier-nice!!

Justthisone Sat 15-Jan-11 00:08:41

you know what, i didn't use to put nuts/peanut butter in, for the allergy reason, forgot about that, thanks!

WimpleOfTheBallet Sat 15-Jan-11 00:26:46

I can't think why people can be bothered to MAKE a lunch daily when the lunchesat school are usually good...or aren't they? My DDs lunhes seem fine...the school ones that is.

Sidge Sat 15-Jan-11 00:32:04

My DD2s school is a healthy school but their only stipulation is no chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks in lunchboxes. Otherwise pretty much anything goes.

Peanut butter (and peanuts) are also banned as they have a severely nut allergic child in the school.

Wimple the school lunches may be fine, but they're pretty expensive - 2 pounds a day per child. I can feed the whole family lunch for 2 pounds a day! So for me packed lunches are a financial necessity.

ChippingIn Sat 15-Jan-11 00:38:31

Wimple - not all children like hot/school lunches and they are too expensive for some families.

Justhisone - the school vary wildly in what they consider 'healthy' I think you'll have to wait until they hand out the 'guidlines' tbh. I hate that they do this though - I think a blanket ban on sweets & soft drinks is fine, anything else infringes on your rights as a parent.

DreamTeamGirl Sat 15-Jan-11 00:40:35

As Slidge says £10 a week is a LOT of money
If I didnt pay he would have them every day but I do have to pay so he has hot lunch 2 or 3 days a week and pack up the other 2 or 3 days

Our lunches are boringly predictable:

Fruit eg banana or apple
Froob type yogurt
Penguin type biscuit

WimpleOfTheBallet Sat 15-Jan-11 01:34:41

I can't see how packed lunches are cheaper...ham and all those things are expensive!

Justthisone Sat 15-Jan-11 09:16:51

Yeah £10 a week here too. It's entirely dd's choice. She's gone back & forth twice. The first time she begged for packed lunch was because the dinner ladies were putting too much on her plate, and then making her go back & eat more when she tried to finish . I can just imagine -dd is not a big eater at lunchtime. After a while on packed lunches she decided to go back onto school dinners (cos she does like most of what they do) but after a term changed her mind again.

We use the joint account to pay for them, so i just add that money to our grocery budget so i can buy the extra stuff for packed lunches.

Normantebbit Sat 15-Jan-11 09:22:56

School dinners are much cheaper than packed lunch here- £1.15 a day.

I can't get exercised about what to put in a packed lunch. It's common sense.

Justthisone Sat 15-Jan-11 09:26:55

"can't get exercised" normantebbit??

Well it's become crystal clear i was worrying about nothing. I can't believe people put, like, a family sized chocolate swiss roll, or 3 bags of crisps & mars bars in the packed lunch! shock

grumpypants Sat 15-Jan-11 09:27:32

I am slightly suspicious that the OP is seeking praise for her organic hunnus in a disingenuous 'is this ok' way...grin
Most lunch boxes appear to be sandwich, fruit/veg, biscuit/crisps, yoghurt and pass with no comment.

Justthisone Sat 15-Jan-11 09:33:41

grin grumpypants! blush
I pointed out the organic-ness of the pizza, ham cos both could be considered unhealthy but ours isn't so much!

I guess that note in the newsletter riled me as i'm very conscious that dd's lunch bag never contains 'obvious' healthy bits like fresh fruit or salad and i was picturing other kids going in with stuff like that, but from what people have said on this thread, I've nothing to worry about!!!

grumpypants Sat 15-Jan-11 09:37:01

No, nothing to fret about. I suspect you have seen the odd DM outraged mother screeching that the school confiscated little X'z chocolate whatever. It should be fine!

Normantebbit Sat 15-Jan-11 09:39:17

'get exercised!' you know, exert yourself over it.

Maybe I'm getting old.

Your packed lunch sounds wonderful. Mine get a ham sandwich,apple and a packet of crisps.

Normantebbit Sat 15-Jan-11 09:41:22

And I don't think organic = healthy

Justthisone Sat 15-Jan-11 09:52:53


Well, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot (apart from the pesticides hmm), but those mini pizzas are very different from the very salty, fatty pizzas you get for home delivery, and the organic ham is not processed plastic ham that you can hardly call ham at all... that's all i meant.

compare (particularly ingredients):
organic Abel & cole ham
wafer-thin honey roast ham from sainsbury's

pacinofan Sat 15-Jan-11 09:57:19

Wimple - our school dinners are now at £1.95 per child. We are not poor by a long stretch, but find £78 a month for 2 children a bit steep tbh. I don't think I'm alone in this.

I have costed the packed lunches I provide (sad but true!), they come in at around £0.75.

Sandwich with cooked turkey (no, it's not organic but very nice anyway). Bread we buy at Waitrose heavily reduced and freeze, posh bread that always has at least 3 days to run!
Home-made carrot cake with orange icing from The Dinner Lady Cook Book, yogurt from Aldi, pice of fresh fruit and a juice carton.

When we did try school meals, found that the food choice had diminished by second sitting and the pudding was invariably ice cream. Our menu has fishfingers and pizza on it far too often for me to consider going back to them. Besides, I very often find that our main family meal that feeds 4 costs a fraction of the cost of 2 school dinners. It's just a question of planning and having the time to shop for things, which thankfully, I do.

DilysPrice Sat 15-Jan-11 10:11:41

Too much ham/bacon/salami etc (even the good stuff) is suspected of an association with some of the more significant cancers, so it's probably safest not to rely on it as a staple pack lunch filler.

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