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School dinners for Reception Child?

(15 Posts)
ihearttc Wed 08-Jul-15 17:30:58

DS2 starts Reception in September. When we had the induction meeting we were told that they had to have school dinners and just wondered if/how they can enforce it?

He is a relatively unfussy eater but due to a medical condition takes a very long time to eat so Im really concerned that he won't eat enough to keep him going. He needs small high protein stuff that he can eat to give him enough energy but can eat relatively quickly. I don't want to make him different to everyone else but a "meal" will take him the whole lunchtime to eat and he won't get anytime to play.

RueDeWakening Wed 08-Jul-15 18:11:50

Speak to school - that sounds like a medical issue that needs some input from the SENCO or similar. I can't see that they'd mind packed lunch, DS is in reception now and although he has school dinners, we are looking at moving him to packed lunch in year 1 due to sensory issues around food combined with a change in caterer that means 8/15 days of the menu he wouldn't actually eat anything. He won't be the only one, even though our school "encourages" school dinners, there are about 5-6 in his class who bring their own.

Also, we have a couple of days where the kids stay for lunch but are picked up straight after the lunch break ends - if your school does similar, you could let him try it and feed him when you pick him up, see how it goes?

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 08-Jul-15 19:03:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihearttc Thu 09-Jul-15 07:38:27

Its not a massive medical issue and in day to day life does't actually affect him that much. He has something called an ARSA (Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery)-one of the arteries from his heart has come off the Aortic Arch in the wrong place and goes around his trachea and oesophagus. His oesophagus (where food goes down) has a huge indentation in it from the artery so at one point its really narrow so although he can eat everything (and does he is a human hoover!) it takes him a while to eat. He normally has things like ham wraps, cheese, little pieces of chicken at home which are full of protein but can eat easily.

He goes full time from day 1 as well! Ive mentioned the ARSA to school anyway but in day to day life apart from him coughing slightly more than usual they probably won't notice...we don't now really because we have got used to him eating the way he does!

YonicScrewdriver Thu 09-Jul-15 07:51:46

I'd call the school to discuss before term ends. It may be possible for their current caterer to provide a special menu or they might have other helpful ideas

DamsonInDistress Thu 09-Jul-15 11:14:18

This could be a massive issue potentially, depending on where they fall in the lunchtime rota some classes in our school get as little as 15 minutes to sit, eat, clear away, and exit the building again. It's shockingly pressured to be honest, and I think you need to talk to the school quickly if your son is likely to take longer than 20 minutes to eat.

RueDeWakening Thu 09-Jul-15 15:14:17

It tends to be the higher years who get less time though, at least that's how it works here. Reception are always first in for lunch so get the longest time if they need it.

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 09-Jul-15 17:03:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihearttc Thu 09-Jul-15 17:06:01

I think Im going to have to speak to them. Ive tried so hard to not make a "thing" of his medical issue because it doesn't really affect us now but I know that he will be unbearable if he hasn't eaten enough.

Thanks everyone-good to get another perspective on it...was wondering if I was just worrying over nothing! x

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 09-Jul-15 17:11:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ppolly Fri 10-Jul-15 15:46:36

Tell the school. Depending on the routine he may have anything from 15 minutes to the whole hour to eat at lunchtime. they have the whole hour at ours and there are still a handful of reception children who just enjoy having a lot of time to eat.

SomethingFunny Fri 10-Jul-15 16:23:44

I would definitely tell the school, it is something they need to know. Once you have had a discussion with them you could decide to try the school dinners or to make them let you have a packed lunch,

However, to reassure you in my school, the dinners work like this: reception start at 11.45 and can take as much time as they like (up to an hour and a quarter). Some reception children inhale their food and go out to play, some don't eat much because they are in a hurry to play. Some don't each much very slowly or eat it all very slowly and take the whole time. Reception children taking 1.25 hours is not uncommon.

NotCitrus Fri 10-Jul-15 16:28:34

Do talk to the school. If you remind him it's extra important for him to eat, he might manage OK, but having staff remind him not to be distracted will help. Also be prepared to give him a snack as soon as you collect him as most kids need one anyway - guess you might need a more high-protein snack before a biscuit or whatever?
Another option might be supplying some cheese or something to have at the end of playtime as "medicine" if teachers think he need a more to eat?
But as packed lunch kids get the same length of time to eat, you might as well save your money to start with. The staff could also point out the higher protein options and say put a yoghurt on his tray?

whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 10-Jul-15 19:28:33

At my dd's school each reception class has an allocated lunchtime supervisor who sits with them so I assume most schools do something similar. I would speak to the school and find out who will be with them at lunchtime and speak to them directly i.e. would it help if they helped cut up his food etc, make suitable choices, ensure he finishes eating etc.

ihearttc Fri 10-Jul-15 21:08:40

Thank you all for your replies...really appreciate it.

I happen to know 3 of the MSA's at the school and mentioned it to them-they actually suggested he had a packed lunch as most of the school dinners are uneaten!!

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