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What are your school meals currently consisting of?

27 replies

ThisMustBeMyDream · 02/09/2020 14:59

I looked at the menu for our school last night. I was quite surprised/shocked. I wondered if I should just quietly ignore, or ask more questions?

I know some schools will be worse in that not providing hot meals at all.

The menu was 2 options. Sandwich or hot meal. The hot meal is pizza/beefburger/pizza/sausage roll/fishfinger wrap (that's next week each days choice). The weeks following are the same. It is all fast food type meals.

I luckily still have the option for packed lunch (and again I know some schools have said children can not take packed lunches in!) but I much prefer them to have a school dinner for both financial (free school meals for ks1) and practical reasons. I would like the hot meal to be a healthier option.

I know that the meals were better before covid - and could understand the lack of choice, if the choices were healthier hot meals. There is also a lack of options for dietary requirements. For example the only vegetarian option when pizza isn't on, is a cheese sandwich.

Any thoughts? Do I just wait it out and blame covid?

OP posts:
nettytree · 02/09/2020 15:04

No school meals available here. I live near caerphilly. Pack lunches only. Sons comprehensive is only having 2x20mins break, no proper lunch hour.

TattiePants · 02/09/2020 15:06

Our school are only offering ‘grab and go’ which is a sandwich taken back to the classroom, no hot meals.

missyB1 · 02/09/2020 15:07

I will find out tomorrow! I work in a school and we have inset days tomorrow and ds starts senior school tomorrow. When we went back after lockdown there was a very reduced menu and it was all in cardboard cartons. I’m hoping it’s improved now.

RhinestoneCowgirl · 02/09/2020 15:10

Same as @TattiePants

My DC are planning to take packed lunch, would normally use the canteen (secondary)

Findahouse21 · 02/09/2020 15:10

Ours is offering the same healthy ish menu as last academic year. I wish there was a sandwich option tbh as then I could stop sending a packed lunch for fussy dd

Cookiecrisps · 02/09/2020 15:11

At my child’s school the meals have to be food which can be packed up into takeaway boxes in the kitchen and wheeled on a trolley to the classroom where the children will now eat or children need to carry the food themselves on to the field to eat. Grab and go meals like those you are describing are the most practical in this situation. However the school is offering a wider variety of food than you describe including jacket potatoes with toppings, curry and rice and pasta bake and they do mini bags of pre chopped veg.

I think things like school dinners are trial and error at the moment and hopefully they will be tweaked once all the staff and children have settled into new routines. Personally I’d leave it a few weeks before raising a concern to see if this happens.

Some schools are starting off with a cold food only meal such as sandwiches for the first couple of weeks to get the new routines in order. The trolley system we have is for a large 3 form entry primary school and will have to be massively scaled up to accommodate the times the number of pupils the kitchen was serving in June -July. That’s no mean feat. Every child who needs a meal will be offered a meal and that’s the most important thing in the first couple of weeks back.

mindutopia · 02/09/2020 15:12

Our meals are the same as always. Two hot options (one is vegetarian) plus a sandwich/jacket/I don't like anything else option.

Cookiecrisps · 02/09/2020 15:13

They should say 3 times the number of pupils than we had in June - July.

Scissor · 02/09/2020 15:15

Logistically the food in many primaries will have to be prepackaged and wheeled to classrooms..I would wait and see after a few weeks . Cost is not helped by the amount of packaging that has to be purchased but there is no other option given the size of many schools and the need to keep bubbles separate.

Scissor · 02/09/2020 15:22

Also think that the staffing etc is based on bulk cooking and delivered through a servery. Those staff are now having to package up hundreds of meals increasing the delivery time and reducing cooking time .. There aren't any extra funds for paying for more staff or longer hours also lunch support staff are now assigned to bubbles so no flexibility there.. And the children have to stay at their desks in the classroom so food has to be brought to them in many cases.

TantricTwist · 02/09/2020 15:29

Pack lunches only for the forseeable future

Dinosauratemydaffodils · 02/09/2020 15:31

In Scotland. A hot option, today was spaghetti bolognese, they've had roast chicken, curry and rice is coming up soon although pizza etc has featured and a cold option, cheese/ham/tuna mayonnaise sandwiches. Carrot sticks, fruit, tomatoes etc all feature along side. If you are vegetarian I think you need to contact the school as there are days when everything has meat/fish in it. Ds seems like it.

Fizzingsherbert · 02/09/2020 15:33

Ours are offering their full menu. The children are having staggered lunch times but all are eating in the main hall apart from the reception class.

Soubriquet · 02/09/2020 15:34

School is providing pack up and so far no hot meals

B1rdinthebush · 02/09/2020 15:57

Are you in Leeds @ThisMustBeMyDream? I've just checked our school meal plan and it sounds exactly the same as yours for next week.

I'm not thrilled by the options but I'm going to go with it for the first term and then reassess if it would be better to send a packed lunch (though I'd rather not as my twins will be entitled to their KS1 free meals too!).

ThisMustBeMyDream · 02/09/2020 16:20

Not in Leeds, no. But not too far away.
The company contracted is Dolce.

OP posts:
Kisforkaylied · 02/09/2020 16:23

Our school doesn't have it's own kitchen, so they rely on deliveries. The menu at the moment is various jacket potatoes, sandwiches / rolls and pizza with a variation of fish & chips on fridays.

BerryPieandCustard · 02/09/2020 16:25

I am catering manager of a secondary/sixth form.
We have had adjust our menu so it can be pre packaged and easily eaten on the go so students can disperse across the site.
Unfortunately we have had to have more beige and snack style foods than we are happy with, we also have sandwiches and pre made salads available.

These styles of foods are not only easier to pre package but also simple to cook, we have extended our lunch break by half an hour to allow for staggering so the simplified menu allows for staff distribution in the kitchen to continue cooking and boxing in the first prt of lunch. Space is also very tight in most kitchens so simplification of the menu allows for an individual to carry out a task as opposed to two people which is needed due to social distancing.

It is incredibly difficult in my job at the moment

Lovemusic33 · 02/09/2020 16:25

Sandwich or wrap here, cheese, tuna or ham.

No cooked meals, they are are only providing packed lunches for kids who get free school meals.

Sallycinammonbangsthedruminthe · 02/09/2020 16:36

Our school is doing a pared down menu we would have now one main course option such as roast chicken sinday lunch kind of thing or home made pie or minted lamb and all the potato and veg choices to go with it ,,then one vegetarian/vegan option and a pasta bar also 5 different kinds of sandwiches and jacket potatoes and 3 fillings.No hot desserts but cold ones such as jelly/yogurts/fruit.This is way down on what we usually do and we do all our own catering but we are rushed off our feet transporting food all over the school and with the extra sanitising and cleaning we have to do between year group bubbles (think full clean of dining room every 20 mins!) we just dont have the time or man power to do as we would want to.As soon as we can relax the guidelines if things improve then we will be happy to get back to providing a full menu again.Pupils at our school do not bring their own food in so we do it all.

StarsOnAMat · 02/09/2020 16:44

School nursery has provided a ham or cheese sandwich and a yoghurt every day since they went back three weeks ago. No variations for dietary requirements so there are a few children taken home every day as they do not allow food to be sent in for nursery children. School lunch is the same but they are allowed to take a packed lunch in, all eaten in their classrooms. I asked today when this might change and was told there no plans for the foreseeable to reintroduce hot meals.

wendz86 · 02/09/2020 16:48

cold option every day. Hot options Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The hot options are quorn hotdog, fishfinger bap and burger/veggie burger. I understand why but a bit annoying as youngest who gets free meals doesn't like most the options.

WankPuffins · 02/09/2020 17:28

Only a cold option of a sandwich, fruit and yogurt, no hot food available at all.

InvisibleToEveryone · 02/09/2020 17:36

I'm a school cook, and we're doing packed lunches only for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Requested by the school.

I suspect it will be like that till October half term.

I'd like to do hot stuff, it's cheaper, easier and quicker prep wise but 🤷‍♀️

OverTheRainbow88 · 02/09/2020 17:46

Sounds unhealthy... I would speak to school
About it. Unfair on kids on free school meals as well to just get crap

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