Packed Lunch or No Lunch? ~ Ranty Friday

Like many parents I’m preparing both my kids and myself for them starting school in September.

I already have reservations about the whole thing.

News this week regarding head teachers being encouraged to ban packed lunches to improve behaviour and a conversation with my 12 year old niece haven’t eased any of my worries.

I really don’t need anyone to feed my children for me.

I know Ahren loves tomato puree not ketchup, strong cheese not mild, strawberry yogurt not apricot and can eat a whole bunch of asparagus when he wants to but will run screaming from sweet corn.

I know Ethan doesn’t like cold things, prefers his stuffed pasta without sauce, likes savoury over sweet and knows the difference between Vegemite and Marmite.

Will the school cater to all their little quirks, not they will not, there will most likely be set menus with a like it or lump it attitude.

If a child doesn’t eat the lunch provided, I imagine they will go hungry until they get home at the end of the day.

I know the child won’t starve, but is a child who hasn’t eaten the lunch provided by the school likely to behave for the afternoon lessons?

I think not, they are likely to be cranky, maybe a little upset and have a growly tummy.

They wont be able to force a child to eat, unless they take away play time or whatever to bribe children to eat, and if they try this they are only going to encourage a poor relationship between food and reward.

I have children, not puppies rewarded by treats for good behaviour.

Some children and parents may indeed welcome lunches provided by the school, finances are hard for many of us, those should be the ones who are offered subsidised or free lunches, but those of us who can and want to provide a packed  lunch for our children shouldn’t be prevented from doing so.

I’d have thought, whilst they are contemplating removing Teaching Assistant's from the class room, yet more changes to GCSE’s or whatever they are called and the length of the school year, they would have more important things to discuss than whether a child has a packed lunch.

Besides, nannie and doopa have already bought them their lunch packs!

2 thomas the tank engine lunch bags

Linking to Ranty Friday over at Mummy Barrow

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  2. I was hoping somebody would write about this FARCE today.

    Why dont MPs just back the hell off and sort their own back yard out before they carry on meddling in things that don't need meddling with

  3. It seems like lunch should be the least of their worries. My two are a few years off school age but I imagine they'll still be arguing about it then. The problem is the withdrawal of parental control and influence for the benefit of a tiny minority. If they were planning a radical overhaul like replacing a cafeteria with a proper sit down lunch room where children and staff ate a sensible home cooked meal and learned their social graces along with their food I could see some benefit to the wider group but as it is, it just stinks of money making and/or change for change's sake.

  4. I am furious about this. My kids get health, balanced lunch boxes, I put a lot of thought into what goes into them, and make sure they have things they will like to eat, but also healthy choices. I have seen the school meals, and what annoys me is that we are told "no sweets, cakes or treats" in lunchboxes, yet jelly, cake and custard or ice cream is on offer at school for lunch?? We don't eat those at home often, they are treats, my kids get fruit and yoghurt for desert. How dare they even suggest they can take away the right to choose what we feed our children.
    Also, school meals are pricey. We would have to pay for them (which is fine, I am not eligible for benefits nor do I expect anyone to subsidise me) but the reason we don't choose school meals, is because I budget in my weekly shop for food for school lunches, which is covered in my spending, and things I buy like houmous, bread sticks, veg to be chopped and eaten are what we all eat, and not extra things. If we HAD to have school lunches, I have worked out, that feeding two children, at a cost of £2/day, each is 20/week, or 80/month of money we don't, frankly, have, to spare. My son is also dairy intolerant, and I have seen what he would be offered, and frankly, it's a load of crap. He can't eat cows milk products, and the alternative stuff they come up with are bland, processed and horrible. What do children with severe allergies or dietary requirements (Kosher, Halaal etc) have to do, who pays for the expense of making sure all these children get the food they need at school. We have Jewish friends, who are Kosher, and she makes their lunches, because she knows she is then sticking to her religious requirements. Will schools have a Kosher kitchen? It's madness. The government needs to but out of our lives, and let teachers teach, and let parents parent their children as we see fit. Most of us are doing a reasonable job. If they spent less time treating us all like morons, and concentrated on the families that DO need input, they'd be far better off!
    Sorry, just realised, that was a LONG rant!

  5. It's just ridiculous! Who wants a class full of hangry (hungry and angry) children??

    I agree with Mad Cats - "If they spent less time treating us all like morons, and concentrated on the families that DO need input, they'd be far better off!" - so true! Not all of us fill lunch boxes with energy drinks (yup - saw a mother handing her 5 year old an energy drink the other day - WHAT?!) and crap.

    Grr. Silly world. Grr.
    Hannah xx

  6. So with you on this. Whatever happened to the saying 'Mother knows best'?
    Unrelated to school meals but I remember writing a note excusing my son from PE because he wasn't feeling so good that day. He came home and told me the PE teacher had said 'I'll decide whether you're well enough for games, not your mum'. Parental control is slowly ebbing away.


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