Do Or Did Your Chilren Have A School Dinner Or Packed Lunch?

@ellie333 (21018)
September 29, 2008 6:40am CST
My son recently started fulltime school and I started him on school dinners but these are £1.85 a day each and when I was asking him what he had eaten he said he didn't really just the pudding so today I have sent him with a packed lunch of a banana, an apple, a flask of water, a ham sandwich and a yoghurt. For staters this has cost me far less than a dinner and I will be able to see exactly what he has eaten when he brings home and can cook a meal at home. What do or did your kids have and what did or do you put into their packed lunches if they have. They have a no crisp or chocolate policy at his school which is fair enough. Have I sent hime with enough, he is four? Also do you think £1.85 is a fair price for a school dinner. I do but I cannot afford nearly £10 a week if he is not eating it. Ellie :D
11 people like this
47 responses
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
30 Sep 08
I alternate packing their lunches or buying the school lunch. I know that £1.85 is approximately $3.70 or so in dollars. Yes, that does seem a bit expensive to me. Especially since she is only eating pudding for that amount! At my children's school the lunch is not too expensive - it is $1.75 a day. They usually eat what is served, chicken or pizza or hotdog or whatever. At least it is a hot meal. But I do also pack them sandwiches, chips, fruit, pudding, juice, or cookies. And you are right, when you pack their lunch you know exactly what it is they are eating. I just try to change it up a bit to keep things new for them so they don't get too bored with either the school lunch or the lunches I pack for them. But I with you on the price, that money adds up and it is cheaper to send them with their lunch in tow. Have a great day and happy myLotting!!!
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi Schulzie, Well he certainly enjoyed his packed lunch and didn't come home hungry as usual, he munched his way through most of it bless so for now I won't be paying the £1.85 per day unless he askes for a school dinner for a change. Day two (as I am late inresponding) I varied it and added a cheese twister as well as the furit but he wanted the same sandwich. It is working for now. Thanks for sharing what you do. $1.75 does seem much more reasonably priced. Ellie :D
@tessah (6621)
• United States
29 Sep 08
here its 2 dollars for school lunch. and there is a menu we keep at home that lets us know what they will be serving everyday.. which we check every morning to see if its something she likes, or doesnt like.. and either give lunch money or pack a lunch accordingly. there is also a midmornng snacktime which we also pack and send in. id think that what you sent is more than sufficient for a four year old. my daughter, who is 8, wouldnt eat that much LOL and wouldnt have the time to even if she would, as the allotted time for lunch is only 20 minutes.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Tessa, My son is not a fussy eater at all but for some reason he doesn't seem to be eating the dinners, we have a menu too and there is something on there everyday that he likes so will trial the packed lunch for a week and see how we go. When at nursery for lunch he usually had a drink sandwich and fruit so maybe he is not ready for a cooked meal at that time of day. Twenty minutes isn't long really for your daughter to eat is it. Huggles. Ellie :D
@tessah (6621)
• United States
29 Sep 08
no.. it isnt long enough. and honestly it annoys me to no end. on the days she buys lunch she has evenless time to actually eat because a bit of that 0 minutes is spent in line to get her food, and then its a rush rush to eat quickly and we all know that just isnt healthy to wolf yer food down like that. theyve extended the lunchtime this year.. last year it was only 15 minutes.. and even on the days she brought her own, shed only have time enough to eat half her sandwich and would bring the other half home, so shed be going all day long (from 8am - 3:30pm) on a small snack and a half a peanutbutter&jelly sandwhich and some milk. theyve now extended the school day itself so she isnt getting home until 4pm. thats a longass day for a child to be expected to work and stay alert on barely any food.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
It is a long day and food is energy and that is what is needed to stay alert in lessons, you would think the schools would realise this and allow more time for them to eat properly and digest properly. Grrr, who ever sets the timetables isn't a parent I guess.
@cynthiann (18613)
• Jamaica
22 Dec 08
Oh, ellie, you have brought back memories. As a child. many years ago, my sisters and I had school meals. Mt cost for the week was One shilling and three pence, my elder sister had to pay one shilling and eight pence and my eldest sister's lunch money for the week was Two shillings and one penny! The point I am making is this. How can your son only eat dessert? We had teachers patrolling up and down and many a day my sister cried because she was forced to eat cabbage. We did not receive dessert unless we finished our lunch. If we were lucky then there may be left overs for dessert and we could get more. I'm not saying that he should be forced to eat cabbage but there should be supervision over what the children eat. Sometimes, they just need a bit of encouragement from the teacher to eat up. Having said that, you are obviously packing a nutritious meal that costs less so go for it girl. Forgive for going down memory lane. Blessings
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
22 Dec 08
Hi Cynthiann, No worries, I enjoyed hearing your journey so don't apologise. The school aren't strict these days. My mum was a dinner lady and I always got to get seconds of the chocolate sponge and custard but only if I ate al my dinner [em]lol[/em. My son is enjoying packed lunch far more than school dinners and I find it is more economical and although school meals are nutricious I can provide that in an evening meal when he gets home. Thanks for sharing. Huggles. Ellie :D
@cynthiann (18613)
• Jamaica
22 Dec 08
I hated school, teachers , everything but I LOVED my dinner lady. She was the only kind person at St. Swithun's. They used to beat with a cane on your hand or pinch you - this was the teachers. I was so happy to leave primary school. Blessings
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
22 Dec 08
That must have been my mum then! Huggles.
@GreenMoo (11837)
5 Oct 08
My son has always had a school dinner. He has wonderful school dinners here - a veg based soup, main course and fruit for pudding. It's probably better than I'd serve myself, and as he's very tired when he gets home he often won't eat a proper meal. There would be no point in my paying for it if he weren't going to eat it though, so in your son's case a packed lunch sounds more sensible. Maybe he just doesn't eat the school meal because it's unfamiliar though. Do you get to see a copy of the menu? I think the food you've packed up for your son sounds great. Younger children like variety so it's probably best to supply lots of little different things. Personally I find sending apples to school is a waste of time. My son eats so little of them without me there to supervise that most of them gets thrown away still attached to the core. I'm sure not all kids are like that, but I think time pressure is to blame in his case.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
5 Oct 08
Hi GreenMoo, How are you, sunny in Portugal I hope, wet and miserable here, it seems like forever since I have seen you. I am not posting so much myself at moment as have a new puppy, and he is keeping me busy bless. Anyway back to discussion, my son loved the packed lunch and munched his way through it, I am lucky in that he eats all fruit so have no problems there although occasionally he will do what your son does and a few bites and thats it. The school does provide a menu but all the time he is not going to eat I think I'll pack a lunch for him as it makes sense both financially plus I can monitor what he is eating. Thanks for sharing and once again, lovely to see you. Huggles Ellie :D
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
6 Oct 08
Lovely and sunny, I´m glad to say. Still no net though, unfortunately, so I´m still not around as much as I´d like. Glad your little one enjoyed his packed lunch. Sounds like it´s the ideal solution in your case.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
30 Sep 08
When my son was at kindergarten, we had to send him with a packed lunch...there was no option of a school lunch/snack. Anyways, he was home after 3 hours at school. I would usually send healthy stuff as snacks...and he would have a hot lunch after he got home. In primary school, they had the option of school lunch which was done by some caterers and not cooked at school. And we had to pay for the whole year in advance if we chose the school lunch. So, I didn't take up that option and would make a whole meal for him every day (he wasn't a fussy eater and wanted a balanced meal everytime). But when I was expecting my second child, cooking a full meal in the morning was too much trouble and I opted for the school lunch. Our school lunch fees is a little on the higher side considering that one has to pay in advance and with so many holidays and half days that come in. But our son makes it worth our money because he eats well (he's sometimes late for the next class because he's having second or third helpings). This year he gets the lunch for free because I work at the same school. As far as your question goes, I think what you sent your 4 year old is a healthy lunch...but the question of if you've sent him enough depends on what he will eat and if it's enough for HIM. The requirements for each child is different.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi SViswan, Wow having to cook a meal each morning not my idea of fun, my sons packed lunch included fruit, yoghurt and a sandwich and he did enjoy and ate most of it and I coooked in the evening so it is packed lunch for now for him unless he says he would like school meals. A YEAR in advance no woder you chose the other opton, I think I would have done too. Thanks for your input, appreciated. Ellie :D
@SViswan (12071)
• India
4 Oct 08
Cooking a full meal in the morning was easier for me...because I wasn't working outside the home then and I would get all my work done by mid morning and I would have the whole day to myself to do what I wanted. It worked out very well for me. Good that your son ate most of it. I'd stick to the packed lunch if I were you. I'd be happier my son ate a healthy lunch than choose the easy way out (even if it was free).
1 person likes this
@Munchkin547 (2778)
29 Sep 08
I know £1.85 doesn't sound like a lot but if you are paying it every day then it soon adds up - especially if he is not eating what you are paying for! I think you've sent him with enough, he's getting a cooked meal in the evenings so he's not going to be hungry! I used to have a packed lunch when i went to school, with similar things to what you have given your little boy. It's good that it means you can keep an eye on what he is eating as well so you know he is getting the nourishment he needs! xxx
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Munchkin, Well he had munched (pardon the pun LOL) his way through two apples (he snuck another in) the banana, sanwich and one of the frube yoghurts so he done pretty well bless so packed lunch again tomorrow I think. Huggles. Ellie :D
1 person likes this
30 Sep 08
Sounds like th packed lunch was a hit then!! He seems to be a big fruit eater, that can only be a good thing!! hehe i love those frube yoghurts, although i feel a bit wierd when i buy them at the supermarket, almost as though i should have a child with me to justify it!! lol big love xxx
@moondancer (7433)
• United States
29 Sep 08
It was mixed, depending on what the school was serving. I would fix them a lunch on the days they were having something the children did not like that the school was serving. I would give them left overs from dinner the night before. Or make them something, or make sandwiches...which ever one they would prefer. And give them a dessert that I had made. I always had desserts made that I had baked.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Moondancer, the school has a no crisp chocolate or cake policy so I sent him with fruit snadwich and yoghurt today which he did eat the majority of bless. He seems happier than what they dish up. Ellie :D
• United States
29 Sep 08
the schools have this policy here as well no chocolate. I make cookies and muffins. When you have 5 children going to school it's much less to pack a luch for them. And they like what I make for them more than they have at school. I'll put in a pork chop and slice of bread and some butter, some green beans (which are not bad cold) sometimes porkNbeans with weiners they love these. I put all kinds of things in their lunches.
@ShellyB (5243)
• United States
29 Sep 08
I think it is kinda hight, 1.85 in lunch. (my opinion will be that one fruit will be enough) I have send my kid to school with lunch and then lunch money but because of a lunch program it is free for her now. I wish you good luck
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Shelly, My son loves fruit and in fact snuck two instead of one apple into his lunchbox. I checked what he had eaten and he manged a whole sandwich, the banana, two apples and one frube yoghurt bless so packed lunch tomorrow too. Ellie :D
@ShellyB (5243)
• United States
30 Sep 08
That is very neat, I am glad for you and your kid. *super sleepy in here* *hugs*
1 person likes this
@livewyre (2455)
29 Sep 08
We have the same problem - out little one is not a good eater and we cannot afford £1.85 a day. We send her with a sandwich and raisins, fruit and a drink, but she often says she threw some of it away and I'm sure the school dinner would be wasted.. They also have a no junk policy at school which I am in complete agreement with. She will eat a fairly wide range of things, but eats extremely slowly and with little enthusiasm!! Your packed lunch sounds pretty much the same as we send our four year old with - and I don't think she eat it all...
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Livewyre, My son bought his lunch bag home so I could see what he had eaten and he had managed his whole ham sandwich the banana, two apples (he snuck an extra in and one frube yoghurt. Tomorrow will be similar but he will also have a cheese string. I can monitor what he is eating this way too. Thanks for sharing. Ellie :D
@livewyre (2455)
30 Sep 08
I know one of the lads who is in the top year of the same school, and they have a buddy system where the older ones look after the little ones. I saw him on Saturday and he said 'Your daughter takes AGES to eat her lunch...' (the older ones sit with them while they eat lunch)- I thought that was quite funny. He also said that a couple of his classmates had a crush in her - I did not find that to be quite so amusing - but I guess at that age, they probably just feel protective towards her which is quite cute really...However I did tell him to tell his classmates that her Daddy was a very aggressive man (just in case).
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
29 Sep 08
My daughter usually eats the school lunch. It is alot cheaper for me to let her do that than to dens her a lunch to eat daily. She is a very picky eater and likes alot of drinks and junk food.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
29 Sep 08
Hi Steph, That is great that she eats the school dinners and it works out better for you to do for her finacially too but my son is four and if not eating the dinners feel it is a bit of a waste at the moment. Huggles. Ellie :D
• China
29 Sep 08
you have to do is right!!!
1 person likes this
@msedge (4012)
• United States
14 Dec 08
My daughter has free meals in school and they are given healthy foods.The school also sent us a copy of their menu every school year.And my daughter really love their food.I think a kid meal cost $2 to $3 here but i am not really sure.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
16 Dec 08
Hi MsEdge, My son loved his packed lunch so much he has opted for that which I rather so that I can see exactly what he has eaten. He is having a dinner on Thursday though as it is a special Christmas one. It is great that your daughter enjoys her meals, thank you for sharing. Huggles. Ellie :D
16 Oct 08
When I went to school I had school dinners. I'm not sure how much they cost as you are going back a few years now. I think if your son would prefer to have a packed lunch on days when the school are giving out food that he dislikes is good. Giving him a packed lunch is good as you can see what he has eaten but the only thing is can you be sure he has eaten it?? Who knows what he could be giving to his friends (not saying that he would) but children do trade food for something their friends have!! I think you have sent him enough, I mean its better to put to much food in than not enough. Ask your son for ideas on what he wants in his packed lunch, he might see a friend with something and may want that aswell. I think the price of school dinners vary from area to area and are going up in prices!
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
16 Oct 08
Hi Cinderella, he is still too young and being overseen with his packed lunch to be swapping food but I do get to see what he has in fact eaten. He has had schhol dinners this week and will mext week but after half term he is going back to the packed lunches again, his choice. He doesn't like queing up for the food would rather just grab his lunchbox and start eating, fair enough LOL. Huggles. Ellie :D
• United States
9 Oct 08
My son is only 2 years old so he hasn't started school yet. But when he does start school I'm sure I will pack his lunch for him. I think it's cheaper to pack lunch than to buy it everyday. Plus if your son isn't really eating the school lunch then it's crazy to spend the money on it, you know? It's just wasting your money when you can pack what you know he likes and know that he is eating it.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
9 Oct 08
Hi Sweetgirl, He does seem to be enjoying packed lunches better and yes I can see what he is eating and as his school doesn't allow chocolate, cakes or crisps in the lunchboxes they are indeed a very healthly and economical option. I just hope he doesn't get bored with them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, appreciated. Ellie :D
@tabyorky (281)
6 Oct 08
My son started reception class in september and he has school dinners. This is because all the children have to have a school dinner. They cost £1.50 a day here so £7.50 a week and I think it is worth it as he seems to eat more different food at school than he would at home. He has also received a sticker a few times for eating all his dinner.
@ellie333 (21018)
6 Oct 08
Hi Tabyorky, When I first started him on the school dinners my thoughts were that he would get to experience different foods but as he wasn't eating it makes sense for me for now to make him a packed lunch. £7.50 is pretty reasonable also. I am pleased you son is eating them well. Thanks for sharing. Ellie :D
4 Oct 08
Hi Ellie, I too have children at primary school 2 of which are on packed lunch the other on school dinners....befor you think that's a bit strange, my youngest is only on school dinners because as he is in reception class, they have been given a free trial of school dinners until after christmas so while they are free he has them but as soon as this trial is over he will be going on packed lunches like the other 2!!! I can do a weeks packed lunches for all of them for just over the price of a week's school dinner!!! At least I know what they are eating and that they are getting enough, my older 2 have very good appetites so i know what i give them is going to fill them up!!!!....i tend to give them a couple of sandwiches or chicken or tuna pasta, couple pieces of fruit, yoghurt, juice and a cereal bar!!! hugs Jessica
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
4 Oct 08
Hi Jessica, Can' blame you to going with the free trial, its just gotta be done eh! My son is enjoying his packed lunches and at least I get to see exactly what he has eaten which is great. Huggles. Ellie :D
@ronaldinu (12439)
• Malta
4 Oct 08
The school that my son attends do not provide a school dinner. However I would prefer if my son had that service at his school.I think that a £1.85 for a school dinner is fair enough. I do agree with healthy eating and I do think that crisps and chocolates should not be sold at school. Your son needs to learn to eat healthy food. If he is not eating school dinner than it is useless to pay for this service. It is much wiser to give him a packed lunch.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
4 Oct 08
He came home having ate the bulk of what I had packed and seems far hapier with packed lunch so until he asks to try dinners again I will stick to making it for him, at least I get to see exactly what he has eaten this way too. Ellie :D
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
3 Oct 08
Well, my Mother always prepare a lunch for my children so that it is so sure to know that the food they eat is safe and healthy as well.....
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi Iyah, Yes by packing your own you know exactly what your children are eating I agree. Ellie :D
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
2 Oct 08
I will be fixing my daughter lunch when she starts school next year. Shes kind of a picky eater and I heard that the lunch isn't too great at the school. I won't pack her lunch forever just for elementry school. Unless she tells me she wants to start eating at school.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi Mflower, I have tried him on packed lunches now and he is eating them well and I am cooking at night and I will also do like you and wait until he asks for school dinners before changing. Ellie :D
• United States
1 Oct 08
I our house, the decision has nothing to do with money. It has to do with what my daughter will eat and what I want her to eat. I feel more in control if I provide my own lunch and, hopefully, provide some barriers to my daughter catching a cold or illness which might be spread by some kitchen worker at the school.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi DaddyOfTheRose, Funny you should mention that as in his first week with school dinners he did have an upset tummy for a couple of days but I put that down to the fact he was mixing wih a lot more children at school, but he enjoyed his packed lunch I sent him with and ate the majority of it so it will be packed lunches from now on. Ellie :D
• United States
1 Oct 08
Since the time both of my kids started school, I have always packed their lunches. Though the schools here provide free lunches to the students, I just want to make sure that my kids are eating right and getting the appropriate amounts of food to keep them going through their day at school.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21018)
3 Oct 08
Hi Jeweledbluerose, Well my son certainly munched his way through his packed lunch so it will be that from now on and at the end of the day I can see exactly what he has in fact eaten eh! Ellie :D