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How do you manage school dinner money at secondary?

(91 Posts)
Taswama Fri 14-Jun-19 23:02:34

DS is in Y7 and it’s still a bit hit and miss, some days he’ll have 3 cakes, other days he’ll have a proper meal.
I’ve said no drinks as a waste of money (and empty calories).
He takes a packed lunch some days but then buys something in the canteen instead.
How do other people manage it?

OP’s posts: |
BlueJag Fri 14-Jun-19 23:05:22

Our school has £5 limit a day. I don't monitor at all what he eats. I put £25 every week and he decided what to eat.
Our son is in year 8 now. I don't want to know as I know he isn't eating the best choices.

Ragwort Fri 14-Jun-19 23:08:59

My DS usually had a packed lunch but I would give him £2.50 maybe twice a week for a school lunch. It was a novelty at first choosing ‘fast food’ type options but he soon got fed up of them.

MrsBlondie Fri 14-Jun-19 23:09:05

Year 8 here. I gave up with packed lunches as he wasn't eating them. He has a set limit of 3.25 a day. Like @bluejag above I dont look at what he's eaten. Not worth the argument!

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 14-Jun-19 23:12:35

£25 a week? That’s ridiculous.

Pipandmum Fri 14-Jun-19 23:14:46

My kids have a card system and you can ask for a print out. But mine always ate the hot meal choices and neither like the snacks/cakes. My son decided in Y9 to make and bring his own lunch then once he started Y10 was allowed to come home and cook his own lunch as he was on a set regime for fitness (we are walking distance and they get an hour and a half lunch as they moved clubs to then rather than end of day for some reason).

Bunnybigears Fri 14-Jun-19 23:15:30

Some weeks DS gets £10 some weeks £20 depending on what money I have. A 2 course meal with water is £2.10, if he gets n extra cake its about 65p and a bacon sandwich in the morning is £1.50. He will normally only have an extra cake once a week and normally only has a bacon sandwich 1 day a week when he has before school sports training meaning he has to leave the house at 5:30.

multivac Fri 14-Jun-19 23:20:12

£25 a week is ridiculous!

Our boys (twins; Y9) have £10 a week each, and one packed lunch - so, an average of £2.50 per non-packed-lunch day. That enables them to get the set meal, or a snack at breaktime and maybe pasta or a roll for lunch. I don't police what they have - but I do keep an eye on it.

clary Fri 14-Jun-19 23:30:42

Wow £25 a week, that's a lot! I used to put £10 on for ds2, then every couple of weeks or so £15. Occasionally he took packed lunch. I agree re drinks a waste of money, ditto tray bakes but I gave up in the end on that.

ragged Fri 14-Jun-19 23:33:07

DC are deprived each get £10/month, 10 months a yr. There's a fingerprint system for payment. They can bring own cash if they wanted to buy more.

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 14-Jun-19 23:34:45

£25 a week?
Shitting hell.

PettsWoodParadise Fri 14-Jun-19 23:58:35

It used to be £5 a day limit for DD then they upped the card to £7. She never goes to the limit, it is auto top up and works out about £30 (top up amount) every 2 weeks. The PP students have the same cards and limits.

I can see online what she has bought which informs discussion about healthy eating but as she has a good meal in the evening at home we don’t stress too much about choices at school.

LucidDream Sat 15-Jun-19 00:04:19

Mine takes a packed lunch. She never buys food in school.

RoseMartha Sat 15-Jun-19 00:15:01

School has parent pre pay system and whatever your child buys comes up on your account.

Kids have packed lunch though as cheaper. But my niece has the school dinners and usually buys a wrap.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 15-Jun-19 00:18:35

I make sure we have enough good / tasty / interesting food for them to make packed lunches and if they don’t fancy that they use their own pocket money to buy something.

Bunnybigears Sat 15-Jun-19 06:12:50

DC are deprived each get £10/month seriously? £10 a month!

Decormad38 Sat 15-Jun-19 06:16:07

I ensure she has money in her account and I can view what she spends on food daily. It's generally pasts and odd days a cake too.

Zoflorabore Sat 15-Jun-19 06:27:54

My ds left school yesterday and never once ate there, preferring to take a packed lunch.

In year 8 they changed to a thumb recognition scheme which meant setting up an account and topping up the machine using the thumb print method.

OneRingToRuleThemAll Sat 15-Jun-19 06:29:40

DD is starting secondary school in September and they recommend £5-7 per day for hot food. She's taking a packed lunch with £5 per week for treats. She can choose if that is spent on the school canteen card, in the supermarket or the corner shop on the way. She'll soon learn value for money.

BurnedToast Sat 15-Jun-19 06:30:36

Give them rules and threaten with packed lunch of they keep eating junk food.

Luckily my DD is pretty good, but I can see this being an issue with my son. I am going to get him to have junk on alternate days or something and only one thing. That seems the most realistic as he's a sugar fiend.

Phillipa12 Sat 15-Jun-19 06:36:36

Im going to do what my sister does. The school has a prepayment card system, im putting £20/£25 a month on it and when its gone ds will just have to bring sandwiches from home.

Dockray Sat 15-Jun-19 06:38:39

School dinners at secondary have really expanded what DS1 eats. He's always been fussy but now he's eating proper meals, even <gasp> vegetables. So I turn a blind eye to the croissants and cakes that he also has every break time. I just add the money to parentpay when he asks.

On the other hand I only used to eat cake at school. Many years later I get diagnosed with sensory processing difficulties and realise that the combination of unfamiliar food and too much noise in the canteen meant I was getting overwhelmed and grabbing a familiar and high calorie item so I could scuttle off to a quiet corner away from it all.

Xeroxarama Sat 15-Jun-19 06:48:34

Mine ate all sorts at first but now has mostly a mix of meal deal and milkshakes or muffins. Costs about £4 a day- the card limit is £6. I think their tastes and needs are changing and they need the autonomy - we encouraged making your own lunch but that was a disaster!

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 15-Jun-19 06:52:24

How is £10 per month enough? Or are they taking packed lunch and this is just for snacks?

My kids infant school is 11 quid a week, so I'd imagine secondary to be at least 15

IggyAce Sat 15-Jun-19 06:58:03

I top my dd lunch account up with £5 a week she sometimes takes packed lunch. After the first half term she realised that if she took a drink from home and a snack (usually fruit and biscuit) she could get something for lunch each day suck as a sandwich, pasta pot or burger.

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