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Would you be happy with these puddings on your dc's school dinner menu?

(66 Posts)
katalex Fri 16-Oct-09 11:49:01

These are the choices on dd's 4 week rolling school dinner menu. I can't help thinking that there is too much sugar and fat. They offer fruit or yoghurt every day but my dd is never going to choose to eat fruit when there is cake on the menu. In fact, she would probably go without a pudding if it was only fruit on offer. Dd tells me that she isn't made to eat her vegetables before having her pudding (which is what she has to do at home).

How does this compare to your dc's menu? Please tell me if you think this isn't really an issue and I'm worrying unnecessarily.

Giant oat cookie or fresh fruit salad
Bakewell tart or jam puff
Syrup sponge and custard or fruit pots
Apple goodie and custard or meringue nests
Danish pastry or mandarin and kiwi pots
Lemon iced sponge or ice cream
Flapjack or cheese and biscuits
Ground rice or fruit pots
Jelly and cream or chocolate mousse
Jam sponge and custard or melon medley
Rice crispie cake or fruit pots
Chocolate marble sponge with chocolate sauce or cheese and biscuits
Rice pudding or strawberry mousse
Peach and apple crumble with custard or fruit pots
Gateaux or arctic roll
Jam tart and custard or fruit cocktail
Trifle or fruit pots
Cheesecake or oat cookies
Muffins or fruit pots
Canadian ginger with lemon sauce or meringue nests

abra1d Fri 16-Oct-09 11:51:44

IT depends how much exercise the children are doing and how hot their classroom is.

If they're running around a lot and not over-heared (ie, they have to burn some energy to keep warm) this seems reasonable to me. I like the sound of lots of those myself!

Kathyis12feethighandbites Fri 16-Oct-09 11:53:42

Quite similar to ours.
I don't really worry tbh. As long as she burns up the normal amount of energy for a primary age child (assuming she is primary?) and eats lots of healthy stuff at home it is probably similar to what we used to get as children.
However I do see what you mean and probably if asked for feedback at any point I would make the points that you do.

islandofsodor Fri 16-Oct-09 11:55:57

Sounds pretty standard to me.

The dc's get the following with fruit/yoghurt offered as an alternative Yoghurt is a very popular option. They also get fruit at morning play.

Week 1
Jam Donut
Chocolate Sponge
Fruit Crumble
Fruit & Ice Cream
Fairy Cakes

Week 2

Fruit Crumble
Marble Sponge
Choc Chip Shortbread
Lemon Sponge
Jam Tart

Week 3

Iced Donut
Strawberry Sponge
Apple Pie
Choc Chip Muffin
Rice Crispy Cake

Week 4

Fruit crumble
Cherry Muffin
Fruit Sponge
Butterfly Cake

I always feel that children need energy.

Blu Fri 16-Oct-09 11:55:58

I think it is fine. Children should not eat low fat diets, and pudding as part of an overall balanced die is fine.

Depends on
- portion size
- ingredients
- how much activity children are doing

I certainly don't see it as an automatic problem (and I see your insisting-on-eating-vegetables-at-home and raise you virtually-never-offering-pudding-at-all-at-home, so I am not a pudding obsessive).

If they are sitting around all day eating huge portions of trans-fat laden stuff, then I wouldn't be happy.

If they are getting plenty of active breaks and doing lots of physical activity and are eating modestly-sized portions of "homemade" style puddings, then I wouldn't have a problem at all.

paisleyleaf Fri 16-Oct-09 11:59:25

That list is about the same as ours.
I don't mind it. But I am a bit hmm that they're not supposed to take cake/choc treats in packed lunch.
The school dinner children can have choc sponge & choc sauce, but the packed lunchers have to be happy with raisins as a treat.

paddingtonbear1 Fri 16-Oct-09 12:05:07

I like the sound of some of those
I don't think I'd worry too much, I bet the portions aren't that large. Some of it sounds similar to dd's school but judging by the state of her school uniform at home time, dd often goes for any yoghurt-type option! (plus anything pasta and tomato based for first course)...

marialuisa Fri 16-Oct-09 12:10:20

Sounds the same as our menu. Packed lunch kids are also allowed cake and biscuits in their lunches but morning snacks must be fruit or veg for all kids. I don't think it's a problem and am surprised how often DD (8) chooses fresh fruit salad (always available) over treacle sponge or whatever, as she's definitely got my sweet tooth.

Madsometimes Fri 16-Oct-09 12:11:23

It is fine. Children are running around at school all day, and they normally return home ravenous. Also, they all get a piece of fruit at playtime.

The children in our school do not get a pudding every day, and I think that it is a shame. I have just persuaded my dd1 to take a school lunch and the puddings are quite a pull.

Seona1973 Fri 16-Oct-09 12:11:32

they sound similar to the ones on dd's menu but dont think she has ever eaten any of them as she tends to buy a biscuit instead

katalex Fri 16-Oct-09 12:15:48

Thanks for your comments. I was wondering whether to raise it as 'constructive criticism' at the Meet the Headteacher feedback session in November but I don't want to embarass myself if the majority don't share the same opinion.

paisleyleaf - I was thinking exactly the same.

abra1d - me too. I often ask dd if I can come to school with her if there's a particularly nice dinner on offer grin

I see your point about portion size and exercise professor. I imagine they probably don't get much and dd tells me she spends the rest of her lunch break running around after a little boy she is friends with. She is quite thin compared to her peers (she's 4 1/2) and has a smaller waist than her 2 year old brother.

Elk Fri 16-Oct-09 12:31:16

Looks similar to our school menu and the children always come home starving, I think they have quite small portion sizes. However, on Wednesdays fuit is the only option and on Tuesdays it is only yoghurt or fruit.

Miggsie Fri 16-Oct-09 12:36:33

My DD runs round like a lunatic even after eating all this stuff, runs home and is "starving", eats her tea and is so skinny you can count her ribs.

BTW, I went round a very posh private girls school the other day and was asking about the food...they showed me a menu...chocolate sponge and custard, jam roly poly and fact there was only 1 pudding without custard.
It all gets eaten, all the girls were thin. I think they use it all up in brain power and play times.

Children have different nutritional needs from adults.

cory Fri 16-Oct-09 13:26:43

This is standard for English schools. In other countries it might look different. In a Swedish school, there would be pudding maybe once or twice a year, but portion sizes of ordinary food (more spuds and other veg) would be larger and probably children would be allowed to help themselves. And they would have unlimited supplies of milk to drink. So probably similar fat content, but less sugar. Probably better for you, but kids in this country expect sweet things: you'd have a job to persuade them to accept more boiled spuds as a substitute wink

katalex Fri 16-Oct-09 13:28:22

Thanks for all your input. Looks like it's pretty standard so I won't mention it to the school smile

TanyaBranning Fri 16-Oct-09 13:30:49

I'm no food fascist, but I just don't think a sugary, fatty pudding is necessary every day, or even every other day. They wouldnt eat that in the holidays when at home (mine wouldnt, anyway), so why are they eating it at school? I don't eat a great slab of cake every day, either. Seems wrong to me.

MrsGently Fri 16-Oct-09 13:42:13

I'm amazed by how small the portion sizes are for school dinners - I'm not surprised they need a pudding to fill up. I give my dd a home made muffin everyday in her packed lunch as a compromise, all the other kids bring in crisps & choc biscuits

mussyhillmum Fri 16-Oct-09 13:51:03

Sounds quite similar to ours. Our dinners are supplied by our Local Authority. They use a nutrition "cruncher" to ensure that all school meals are nutritionally balanced and meet government guidelines.

The puddings in reality may not be as fat or sugar laden as you fear. For example, DCs school has chocolate cake on the menu, but it is not chocolate cake as we would recognize it as they put very little cocoa in it. Do you have a school dinners committee at your school? May be worth asking them about it if you are concerned.

Hulababy Fri 16-Oct-09 13:56:20

Portion sizes in primary schools are often quite small and it would be very unusual in most schools to get seconds or more.

I think a proper pudding is perfectly fine as part of a balanced meal.

DD loves her school puddings grin

Hulababy Fri 16-Oct-09 13:57:53

miggsie - sounds like DD's prep school puddings. FIL is often jealous of DD's school pudding!

cat64 Fri 16-Oct-09 14:01:36

Message withdrawn

cory Fri 16-Oct-09 14:08:06

You're not actually agreeing with everybody else, cat <waves small hand>

I have no quibble with the fat and sugar contents in themselves, but I think it is totally unnecessary to teach young children that their energy content has to come from sweet puddings: I would like them to get used to eating the same amount, but to get larger portions of the healthy food and not necessarily any puddings at all. Nothing wrong with puddings, but I'd rather have them saved for special occasions.

mussyhillmum Fri 16-Oct-09 14:37:22

Cory - I agree with you completely. Puddings at home are a rarity. I think the reason why the schools bulk up on the stodge is because it is cheaper than increasing portions of fish, meat and veg. This is unlikely to change unless the government digs deeper in its pockets and increases funding of school dinners.

thatsnotmymonster Fri 16-Oct-09 14:40:36

I think it's fine.

I think there's only so much of one course most children will eat no matter what's on offer next.

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