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Is the threat of removing a 5/6 yr old's lunch for not eating it within a small timescale standard practice?

(34 Posts)
Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 16:31:18

My DS (5) has told me that a TA told his table and others that their food would be removed if they hadn't eaten it within the next minute. DS is a slowish eater but he did eat his lunch, his friend although wanted to finish his lunch had it removed. They were late into lunch because the class was kept in to practice tidying up and sitting down properly. Ds said there was hardly any time to eat. Does this sound harsh or normal?

Still18atheart Fri 19-Apr-13 11:01:40

YANBU it's harsh

I was a slow eater at primary and I remember them doing this to me. I hated it then and would hate it if they did it to my lo.

lljkk Fri 19-Apr-13 10:48:06

You must ask the school how they do this before getting yourself wound up. It sounds like childish exaggeration crazy to me. First sitting gets an hour to eat at our school plus they can finish in classroom after that. Second sitting (age 8+ for us) gets 25-35 minutes to eat.

BoffinMum Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:49

Remember you have the right to bring your children home for lunch if they are reduced to pouring it over their laps as they grovel on the floor. wink

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 21:30:04

Yes he could be embellishing or misunderstood the reasoning behind his friend's lunch being taken. I'm going to ask the Mum of this boy if she knows anything.

whatsleep Thu 18-Apr-13 21:16:37

When my dd was in reception I made a fool of myself with the dinner ladies as dd was telling a few white lies regarding not being given enough time to eat etc......I'm not saying your ds is fibbing but don't make the mistake I made, tread carefully until you know all the facts! We now have the issue of the hot dinners running out before all of the children have been dinners are a minefield, Packed lunches all the way now!

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 21:08:15

Yes, they were my first thoughts - pretty much but I didn't know if I was being precious.

MandragoraWurzelstock Thu 18-Apr-13 20:40:47

This sounds very poor indeed. Sending a class of 5yos in to lunch LATE and then punishing them if they didn't finish their lunch?


I'd be having words, sorry

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 18-Apr-13 20:35:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Periwinkle007 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:09:47

yep. they combine 2 classes in one room for lunch, they have to, there physically isn't anywhere else, the hall is small for the size of the school now so just does the 2 or 3 hot lunch sittings and the others get combined and have to sit on the floor or tables (if they can get a space but obviously 2 classes into 1....) or outside on the playground. I am not impressed but I don't see what the school can do. things like this will only become more common as schools get more and more pushed for space. one of the schools near us is losing its library this year to accommodate another class! I tried sending my daughter in with salads and quiche and things for variety from sandwiches but she said it was too difficult to eat without a table so we are back with sandwiches or wraps

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Thu 18-Apr-13 19:31:54

Periwinkle - do they really have to sit on the floor to eat their lunch ? shock

Periwinkle007 Thu 18-Apr-13 19:15:22

DDs school they get about 10-15 mins to eat I think, they have to sit on the floor in the classroom or on the ground outside when weather good unless they have hot lunches.

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 18:06:22

Thanks for the advice, on balance a chat to the teacher seems justified- phrasing it in a diplomatic way.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 18-Apr-13 17:54:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fuckwittery Thu 18-Apr-13 17:53:46

I worry about this as well, our school's dining room is tiny and can only fit in 2 classes at a time, so there are 4 sittings. so I'm guessing they only get 15 minutes each, and DD is a terribly slow eater. She often asks me not to send such a big sandwich, I know she would eat it all given the time, but just doesn't get a chance to finish it. I would chat to the school and see what their provision is for slow eaters generally.

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 17:46:57

If lunch is an hour, I don't understand why lunch is not 20 minutes at least. I'm just thinking back to when I was at school, we had a main lunch, didn't seem rushed and then we queued for dessert. We then went out to play.

Myliferocks Thu 18-Apr-13 17:42:03

The infants my DC attended did it the other way round.
The yr 2 & 1 children went in first and the reception children were second sitting.
This meant the R children weren't being rushed so the older children would have time to eat.

TreesAndFlowers Thu 18-Apr-13 17:36:30

DD's (infant) school lets the children in by year groups so in theory the Reception children could have an hour to eat their lunch, and often the Y2 children only have about 5-10 minutes. If they go in late they may literally have a couple of minutes.

(DD tends to talk a lot which also cuts down her eating time).

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 17:30:18

Yes half of 'everything' would but DS has said there is no time to eat extras and so he only has a sandwich, bagel or pitta bread with a drink. Therefore he eats half of that for the school day and sometimes a carrot or apple at snack time. He used to take an additional thing like a bag of mini chedders or breadsticks or something like that but he says they are no allowed to eat them with their sandwich and there is often no time to have them afterwards. I know this is true as my friend was complaining about her Dd not being allowed to do this. I understand that's probably to ensure children don't just have snacks for lunch but they are often told there is no time to have these additional things unless you're really fast.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 18-Apr-13 17:18:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 17:13:19

BeerTricksPotter, yes he does bring home his uneaten food. He was very slow last year but he was one of the youngest in his class and I think that had a lot to do with it. He is really keen to get out to play and sometimes leaves food for that reason. The TAs check what they've eaten and decide whether they can go out to play. Given that is the case and he sometimes comes home with half a sandwich then they must think that is an acceptable amount to eat.

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 17:04:41

He takes about 15 minutes at home. I appreciate what your saying Bert2e but they don't get long by all accounts and are always been told to hurry up. It is the first time they have made this threat. Ds has told me that a lot of children are told to hurry so I doubt they're all slow eaters.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 18-Apr-13 17:02:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldenbear Thu 18-Apr-13 16:58:26

Smartiepants, I've only heard it from DS, he doesn't talk much about school and so I would imagine he's not totally making it up. He said it in a jokey way, as in, 'We only just got into the hall and we weren't eating for very long when Mr H said we had a minute to finish or food would be taken away.'. The minute was up and DS told me that Mr H took his friend's remaing food despite him still wanting it. I know the Mum quite well so it might be a way of checking if what he is saying is fairly accurate.

Bert2e Thu 18-Apr-13 16:56:03

He needs to learn to eat faster I'm afraid - schools have several sittings of lunch to get through and can't wait for children to fiddle with their lunch all day. At home how long does he take to eat lunch?

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 18-Apr-13 16:51:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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