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Opinions on primary school catering. Including vegetarian, vegan etc

(34 Posts)
NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 19:43:05

Hi,

I am new and was wondering how people are finding primary school meals?
The variety provided for children with intolerances, religious beliefs, life choice requirements etc

OP’s posts: |
Norestformrz Mon 20-Nov-17 19:46:46

Like cafes and restaurants it varies depending on the catering staff.

TittyGolightly Mon 20-Nov-17 19:47:46

Not worth the money here in Wales. Over processed muck. (No universal free meals here.)

Hulababy Mon 20-Nov-17 19:51:26

They all vary.

My infant school offers a hot main meal each day, a vegetarian hot meal option daily and 3 times a week an additional Halal option. There is also a jacket potato option and a sandwich option - this varies each day and is sometimes meat, sometimes fish and sometimes veggie. If a child is doing a lunch time club that is outside of school, or on a trip, they get a packed lunch and can choose from cheese or tuna.

If a child has other specific dietary needs, such as for allergy reasons, they make arrangements on a one to one basis with the catering company and have their own 3 week menu devised.

NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 20:42:12

I totally agree on the food being the same as in restaurants/cafes being based on the catering staff. I think it's a real shame if you dont feel it's worth the money, but agree if it's all processed. Yuck! What a shame to Wales.. so many children and parents benefit from the children having a wholesome cooked meal at lunchtime. Xx

OP’s posts: |
NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 20:43:33

Hulababy... sound quite good. Although tuna nor cheese are suitable for vegans so they may have to think that choice of filling.
It's so difficult.

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Mon 20-Nov-17 20:45:17

I’m a supply teacher and the school lunches vary so much from school to school, even in the same county where it’s all supposed to be the same meal on the same day.

NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 21:31:06

Yes I can appreciate that Savoy cabbage!
I've worked in catering for years and still find myself grumbling in restaurants where I pay too much for a small average meal. I keep saying to my partner that I need to set up my own business. 😀 I have been the catering manager for a county primary school but whom is in house for the meals. So.I plan and arrange menu and suppliers. I think the kids are really lucky and from what I hear they do too. I wish all school had this opportunity.

OP’s posts: |
EvilDoctorBallerinaRoastDuck Mon 20-Nov-17 21:35:09

If they have an intolerance here you have to bring a packed lunch. I'm seeing the GP tomorrow to get DD booked for a blood test for coeliac, I really hope it comes back negative, I can't afford the variety she gets at school.

PurpleDaisies Mon 20-Nov-17 21:35:56

My current school has the best food of any I’ve worked in. The kitchen staff are brilliant and make a huge effort to present it nicely so the kids will try new things and lots of staff pay for dinners too. Every day there’s a meat option, veggie option and jacket potato available. Plus a decent salad bar.

Lily2007 Mon 20-Nov-17 21:42:04

Our primary's school lunches are amazing for £2 though not so good on allergies. Though considering the budget and low pay its really good.

drspouse Mon 20-Nov-17 21:47:04

I'm not sure about allergies but my DS school is similar. You'd be fine as veggie or Muslim but if you were vegan you'd have to take a packed lunch.

NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 23:00:28

Oh no that's awful.. you shouldn't have to bring a packed lunch! It isn't your child's fault. Im so sorry to hear that. The doctor thought that perhaps I was Celiac. I wasn't convinced. I sent off some hair samples to a health clinic in london, although quite a few sensitivities were logged the main culprit for me was potatoes! I've now been potato free for around 11 weeks and I can't see me going back. I feel so much better. Xx

OP’s posts: |
NinaBernadette Mon 20-Nov-17 23:03:16

That's great to hear that some people are happy with the lunches. Yes I had a nice surprise when coming into work today to find that over the weekend a family that ate anything have turned vegan! 3 children I had to offer the cuff accommodate for. They were so disappointment too, I found it quite upsetting.

OP’s posts: |
Veterinari Tue 21-Nov-17 06:12:48

I sent off some hair samples to a health clinic in london, although quite a few sensitivities were logged the main culprit for me was potatoes!

Placebo is a powerful thing!

drspouse Tue 21-Nov-17 08:15:15

Hair samples are not a diagnostic method for coeliac...

NinaBernadette Tue 21-Nov-17 16:44:35

Sorry if I confused you. I had blood tests for the coeliac and years of complaints. The sensitivity test was for me to see what came up. I have ulcerative colitis and chronic Ibs.

OP’s posts: |
NegansBitch Tue 21-Nov-17 21:51:46

School meals vary from school to school, even within the same council district.

ours has at least a vegetarian meal and a meat meal daily. There is also sandwiches, wraps and jacket potatoes. Some days there is also a halal version.... (so vegie, meat and halal)

I am not sure I have seen any vegan meals on my childrens menu.... I would probably go for packed lunches if I were vegan (just in case)

hiyasminitsme Tue 21-Nov-17 22:25:03

Hair samples are BS for allergies and intolerances. You've been had I'm afraid.

NinaBernadette Tue 21-Nov-17 22:27:42

Your primary school sounds as if the kitchen staff are very busy with the extra choices of wraps, sandwiches etc. Great for the kids, although for some it could be too much. Yes vegan is much harder to cater for but when the children are entitled to a free school meals I think we should do our very best to accommodate their personal life choice.

OP’s posts: |
Perpetualstateofchaos Tue 21-Nov-17 23:04:08

We offer a meat, veggie or jacket for the main meal daily and a choice of sandwiches (ham, cheese, tuna may and egg mayo). Special menus are created for allergies although gluten free are prepared separately and ingredients changed to gf is possible (e.g. pasta, pizza bases, flour)

Jinglebellhell17 Tue 21-Nov-17 23:07:11

Our local primary has a mighty PTA who tapped into the largely affluent parents to cough up for a proper kitchen so the meals could all be cooked from scratch on site. They do cater for vegetarians every day but not vegan. And the food is of very good quality.

NinaBernadette Wed 22-Nov-17 07:49:20

Again, that's sounds great! More lucky children.

OP’s posts: |
dantdmistedious Wed 22-Nov-17 08:02:36

My kids are in year 2 and get universal free school meals. Tbh it seems pretty good. I know allergies are well catered for as are vegetarians. It’s a very small catholic school so although they do sometimes admit eg a Muslim or Hindu child I don’t think there are any there at the minute so no religious
Requirements to consider.

Once the universal free school meals finish this year I’m not sure what we’ll do. I’d like to stick with School dinners for ease but think the kids may push for packed lunch.

LunasSpectreSpecs Wed 22-Nov-17 08:06:40

I'm not impressed with the quality, or the portion size. (We're in Scotland). The same portion served to a 4.5 year old as a 12 year old. There is a vegetarian option every day, assuming the children who eat halal or kosher have to choose that. No information on the menu about things which are gluten free. Vegans not catered for. We're also a nut-free school.

I don't think schools can be expected to cater for each and every dietary requirement, with loads of options each day. Well they could - assuming parents were prepared to pay for the cost of providing it.

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