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Pack lunches and needing to ‘break’ the rules or child won’t eat

10 replies

ZebraInaTeapot · 19/04/2022 12:49

Has anyone approached their school about this?
Ds has asd and arfid and has the same lunch daily (it’s not healthy but we view it as calories so in that sense it’s good as it’s something)

Just looking at the info on school website and it’s basically all the food he accepts they don’t allow. Will schools make exceptions for medical needs?

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Sprogonthetyne · 19/04/2022 15:04

I would have thought it would be classed as a reasonable adjustment, and realistically they don't want to be dealing with a hungry grumpy child all afternoon any more then you do. A compromise might be to un-packet everything (eg. Crisps tipped into little tub or bent style box with compartments), so it's less obvious to the other children. That way the school don't have to deal with "that's not fair" type compartments.

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ZebraInaTeapot · 19/04/2022 15:08

@Sprogonthetyne

I would have thought it would be classed as a reasonable adjustment, and realistically they don't want to be dealing with a hungry grumpy child all afternoon any more then you do. A compromise might be to un-packet everything (eg. Crisps tipped into little tub or bent style box with compartments), so it's less obvious to the other children. That way the school don't have to deal with "that's not fair" type compartments.

He has to see that any packaged foods/drinks are in the specific packaging or won’t eat/drink 🤦‍♀️

It’s an absolute nightmare.
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Punxsutawney · 19/04/2022 15:41

Ds is autistic with a diagnosis of ARFID. He's currently being supported by a specialist ARFID team. If I was having an issue with school and lunches. I would probably ask them to write a letter in support of allowing him to eat specific foods at school. Do you have anyone that could write in support of this?

ARFID is an eating disorder and reasonable adjustments need to be made.

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Sprogonthetyne · 19/04/2022 16:04

If that's the only thing/ way he can eat, the school will have to deal with it. Their responsible for his care during school hours and can't just leave him hungry all day. I'd raised it directly with the senco, as they're more likely to understand the situation, whereas kitchen or office staff are might just parrot the policy.

Is he starting a new school? My DS started reception last year and getting him to eat at school was part of the transition planning. For us it meant making sure the one type of sandwich he will eat is available everyday, and the school giving us a set of their plates/ bowls to get use to at home. I know that's not the adjustment your asking for, but it shows they took DS's food related issues seriously.

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ZebraInaTeapot · 19/04/2022 17:38

Going in to reception so yes new and he’s never had lunch at nursery so it will be all new and I’m nervous !!

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RaisingAgent · 19/04/2022 18:13

Hello @ZebraInaTeapot I'm following with interest as I have a child also starting reception in Sep who likewise has eating difficulties (although not ARFID). My child has a core repertoire of about 10-15 safe foods, mostly beige. Literally zero chance of my child touching nursery or school food, and we have to tread v v carefully around food as any perceived demand to eat results in my child refusing to eat anything or dropping safe foods. We have got a lunchtime plan written into the EHCP for Sep start.

Have you got a supporting letter or report from dietician/ psychologist that states your child must be given their safe foods in the original packaging?

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Sprogonthetyne · 20/04/2022 07:38

It is terrifying when they first start and everything feels more out of your control. Does he have an EHCP? I'm guessing maybe not and you found out where he's going yesterday?

If that's the case I'd ring the school next week (after Easter holidays) and ask for a meeting with the senco. You can share any reports you have, and talk through his needs, so they can have some sort of plan in place for September. You can raise the packlunch issue with them then, but I'm sure they will be fine with it.

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Punxsutawney · 20/04/2022 09:59

I would definitely share any reports. Ds's ARFID assessment report states that his risk to self is 'high' due to his restricted eating. I think it's useful for schools to have that information.
I have found that most professionals in general don't have much, if any understanding of ARFID.

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AReallyUsefulEngine · 20/04/2022 10:08

We always found primary school to be accommodating at making reasonable adjustments to the healthy eating policy.

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openupmyeagereyes · 20/04/2022 17:39

You should specifically raise it with the teacher. My ds had a packed lunch with the same foods every day, biscuits were the only thing he’d eat there. The school were absolutely fine about it.

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