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DS in Year 1 not eating or drinking at school - what can I do?

(14 Posts)
ksld Mon 28-Sep-09 17:41:42

DS is 5 and has just gone into Year 1. Last year in YR he was not good at eating or drinking and it emerged he was frightened of the dining hall. However we worked on his fears and he settled by the Summer term and was usually eating and drinking a fair amount. This term he has eaten twice, and every other day (it's been 3 weeks back now) has not even touched his lunch/water bottle. He says he is not scared, just wants to go out to play.

He has a packed lunch as he is a very fussy eater and I am trying not to give him food issues by reacting to his pickiness. He asks for the food I put in his lunch box, and only has a sandwich made with 1 slice of bread and then 1 piece of fruit. Never anything he doesn't like, and not a huge amount.

I have tried (1)rewards: sticker chart (didn't work - only 1 sticker on there in 8 days)
(2)bribery: can have treat at home if eats, younger sibling gets a treat and he doesn't if doesn't eat
(3)threats: will take him to the Dr. (Took him to Dr on Friday and she talked to him and weighed and measured him - he is underweight and she will review in a month...)

I am just out of things to try now - he ate nothing at all today, and his water bottle was untouched. He doesn't seem hungry when he gets home even. I am just scared that it is going to become a huge issue now the Drs are involved, and worried about him - how can he keep going and concentrate at school without any food or drink?

franklymydear Mon 28-Sep-09 17:43:22

What are school doing about it? Dinner ladies should ensure he's not allowed to leave the table until he's eaten enough

ask school for support

Scootergrrrl Mon 28-Sep-09 17:44:45

Definitely - if the reason he's not eating is because he wants to go out and play, he might eat up if he thinks he'll have to sit until he eats something from his lunchbox. Does he have a friend at school he sits with at lunch?

ksld Mon 28-Sep-09 17:52:49

Sorry - knew I would leave something out!

Have spoken to the teacher who said he would keep an eye on it, but has made no difference.

Teachers are not around at lunch time, and I don't know the Dinner ladies.

All I can glean from DS is that the pack lunchers are left to get on with it and no one checks on them. We have to ensure they can open packets etc as there is no one to help with that.

Was an issue as I said in YR and despite repeated conversations with his teachers no one supervised his lunch then, I guess I have kind of given up expecting them to do anything to help him this Year.

Tombliboobs Mon 28-Sep-09 17:58:31

Speak to his class teacher straight away, tell her the issue and also that he is underweight. They should speak to the lunchtime supervisors and ask them to keep an eye on him and encourage him to eat and drink. Does he have access to water in the classroom too?

They can also give him a partner to sit with, lunchtime supervisor can also give stickers for eating lunch and you should agree with him the minimum amount of food and drink you are happy for him to eat and make it clear that it what you expect him to eat, rather than put in more and let him choose iyswim. The school should be checking that he has spent some time eating before playing.

southernbelle77 Mon 28-Sep-09 18:00:17

The school should be helping and there should be someone there to keep an eye on them. I would have a meeting with the teacher / head and say that the doctors are now involved as he is underweight and so they need to try and get a dinner lady to make sure that he eats something.

My dd has never been a good eater and is underweight (at her health check in reception she was under the 0.4th centile and the hv mentioned the dreaded words 'failure to thrive' - not that I'm worried as she's always been small). The dinner ladies at school always make sure that she eats SOMETHING from her lunch box. She is pretty much always the last one to leave the lunch hall and often has very little (or no) time to play because of it. She is starting to get a bit better with their encouragement and also her best friend who she usually sits next to eats quite quickly so tries to hurry her up so they can play together!

I honestly think the school can and should be doing more to help.

Ripeberry Mon 28-Sep-09 18:04:10

How is he at home during holidays and weekends? When I was a child I used to walk home (2 mile round trip)just for lunch as I could not stand being in the dinning hall and the lunchbox hall was no better.
I was underweight but very fit!

Tombliboobs Mon 28-Sep-09 18:06:11

Sorry cross posted.

That is not acceptable, as a teacher, I have come across this lots of times. I would always speak to the lunchtime supervisors and (discreetly!) point out who I wanted checking up and what support they may need.

Speak to the teacher again and ask if she can ask the supervisors to keep an eye on him, emphasise that he is underweight. TBH, if you feel that no support has been given speak to the KS1 coordinator or Head.

If you feel strongly that it is just because your DS wants to go and play, you could ask them to keep him in until he has eaten the small mount you have put in (see previous post) though I would hold off on this for a while as it does come with its own issues and I would start with them keeping an eye on him and gentle encouragement.

verygreenlawn Mon 28-Sep-09 18:10:36

I sympathise, my ds1 (6) has always been a poor eater - he's just not that interested in food, and will eat just enough to keep himself going but no more.

He has a cooked lunch at school (no packed lunches allowed) and on the advice of a dietician we've agreed with the school that they will offer him one food only as he finds anything more a bit overwhelming. So today he ate lots of rice then an apple and a biscuit for pudding. School have been very very supportive I have to say.

I don't know if this helps, but ds1 is SLOWLY improving - he's always been underweight (from birth) and it's only in the last couple of months he's got a little better and started trying new foods (only at home though). It's very hard not to make a big deal out of eating, but the professional advice we were given was not to make a fuss, to simply make sure he ate something, and that he would slowly begin to find his own way with food (which does seem to have started to happen). Having said all of that, your ds does of course need to have something - food, water, milk. Hope you find a solution.

sarah293 Mon 28-Sep-09 18:13:58

Message withdrawn

franklymydear Mon 28-Sep-09 18:46:53

Call the office and ask to speak to the lunchtime supervisor directly

there will be dinner ladies

pointydoug Mon 28-Sep-09 19:01:35

I would speak to the head or deputy about a dinner time issue, not the class teacher.

alana39 Mon 28-Sep-09 19:06:17

Our school dinner ladies will spend time with children if you tell the teacher you are concerned - they have rewards at school for eating properly (DS has had stickers, and even though I have also had limited success with sticker charts at home he did respond to them at school so might be worth a try?).

Littlefish Tue 29-Sep-09 16:55:31

I agree with pointydoug.

Ask to speak to the head or deputy. I would suggest that a named lunchtime superviser be made responsible for supporting your ds to eat and drink an agreed amount. They don't need to stand over him, but just check in with him regularly.

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