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 Post subject: Advice please....
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:50 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
DS had a great first day at his new school yesterday as a member of Yr 8.

Still a few things to untangle as Yr 7 seem to be the schools' priority but he was happy and chatty about the whole experience. 8)

The good news, he asked if I could get him a small, telescopic umbrella which he can keep exclusively in his bag, how sensible is that for a 12 year old boy who is normally verging on being feral, so that was impressive.

He fortunately knows lots of children at the school so had plenty of friends to show him the ropes.....

I gave him £3 for lunch as a hot meal is a minimum £2.50 and I put a piece of fruit in his bag.

None of his friends had lunch. They all bought some crisps/snacks and some biscuits at break and then again at lunch and that was it.

My son bought a ham baguette at lunch, and walked around eating it and quite liked the look of the cooked food but this group of boys said they hadn't bought any proper lunch since just after they started in Yr 7.

I am hoping that once my son finds his feet and confidence he will buy a proper lunch if he feels like it but can see him easily getting into the habit of snacking throughout the day and coming home to eat properly.

He has never really been a crisps/sweets/snacks type of kid but I suppose he is growing up and there is only so much I can say.

This morning he did pack two pieces of fruit and a sports flask of squash himself (none of the boys drank anything during the day either.....).

So my question is....what do your kids do, especially those who have already found their feet at senior school and do you have conversations about their eating habits or just leave them to it??

Any and all comments most welcome.


Ambridge x

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:54 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8069
definitely leave it to them, but then being a dreadful mother I always have!!!

DS is offered money for lunch or if he wants a packed lunch then he makes it. I think they know enough about healthy eating these days to make their own choices - whether they do actually eat healthily is another matter. Having come from a family of "food naggers" I have decided the next generation won't be nagged....

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:25 am 
When I started senior school I would have cooked meals and sometimes food that most teenagers wouldn't eat i.e. mackerel. Anyway within days I was teased for having a sit down meal and not a chip butty. I became very self-conscious and just decided to go with the masses.

I would say that it depends on your sons personality. If he doesn't care what others think then he will eat what he wants and what he's been used to, which would have been cooked meals at his previous school. If you have any concerns then give him a packed lunch and some money - he may eat some rubbish, but being a hungry boy he'll eat his packed lunch too so you will at least know he has had some goodness. My Hub used to have his packed lunch devoured by 10am each day so I'm sure it won't go to waste! :)

 Post subject: Re: Advice please....
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:28 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1768
Location: caversham
Ambridge wrote:
(none of the boys drank anything during the day either.....).

And I thought it was just mine that comes home with a full bottle of water. :cry:

At primary schools lunch breaks are supervised, then comes the freedom of senior school.

One work around is a large breakfast with plenty of fluids and lots of gentle reminders to try and eat and drink a little during the day. :)


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:03 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:18 pm
Posts: 490
Location: kent
This does not happen in all schools - not in my teenage stepdaughter or stepson's schools. So I'm not the best person to suggest possible solutions.

I would be feeling cross that so much junk is on sale, and particularly at lunchtime ..... and I guess you are paying (via your son) more per biscuit and packet of crisps than if you had bought it from the supermarket.

I don't think I'd nag as at the end of day your child could tell you that they had bought and eaten a hot meal when they had smoked a pack of fags and had a bag of crisps instead. But I don't really understand the school's catering system - don't children have to opt in for lunches?

What's the PTA like? Could you have them work more closely with the school on improving the school meal uptake and reducing the sale of junk food?

How well do you know the parents of the other friends? Could you all have a campaign e.g. all agree to send the boys in with no money for food if they are not buying lunches with some particularly nasty flavoured crisps in their bag instead??!! (said I was't the best person to ask!).

 Post subject: Lunch
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:59 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:17 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Buckinghamshire
My four at grammar have packed lunch 4 days and then money on Friday - they and their friends seem to eat the packed lunch fine and prefer it this way as they don't want to queue up. By Friday I've lost the plot and give them money! Rest of week they don't take any money to school so they can't snack unless they take food from home.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:17 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2325
Dont understand how they are buying crisps/sweets and such snacks at school - thought all this had been banned from schools?

I would send in packed lunch of mixture of 'sandwiches' & snacks which means he can eat some decent stuff without making a big deal of it in front of friends.

I agree its no good nagging but think you should try to find sensible compromise - teenagers really should be drinking fluids & eating half sensibly if they are going to study properly during the day.

 Post subject: Mel x
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 410
Hello everyone

My year 9 (can't believe it) has packed lunch most days but like Jemima I have usually lost the plot by Friday so he then gets money.

On the days I give him money(may also when he has games or guitar practise as so much to carry) he usually buys pasta or possibly a baguette. He is very honest and tells me he sometimes buys it from our local shop as it's cheaper then school. I always give him a bottle of water anyway and he prefers that as again drinks at school are so expensive. Which beggs the question why are school dinners expensive. His school sell drinks and fruit from a machine so thats why they are but dinners shouldn't be and he generally needs atleast £2.75 a day just for lunch if he wants a snack he takes one from home.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
The PTA is probably not the best group to approach. They are superb at fundraising etc but not really influential on the policy-making side of things. Approach the Head or the governors (or both) or perhaps someone in charge of PSHE or someone who deals with the Healthy Schools side of things.
I must admit that when we looked round schools this time last year, one of my aims was to find out about how lunch times are dealt with ie do staff sit down for meals WITH the pupils? I know that this is not always possible and I would choose academic results over dining room details, but I did prioritise this quite highly.
I hope it all gets sorted, at least it's only one meal of the day and I'm sure you'll get those healthy fruit and vegetables packed in at other times!!

 Post subject: lunch
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:58 pm 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 863
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
My DD has a lunch card (which can be topped up online or using machines at school) but what she eats on it seems to vary according to the weather, the actual menu, the queues (different years have the "early lunch" privelege on different weekdays, or if you have a lunchtime club to get to) and what her current friends are up to. I'm happy she has the option of hot meals, jacket potatoes, or a separate snack/ sandwich bar, which also opens at break I think, and if in the summer she wants to make a packed lunch to eat out on the field with her friends, that's fine too. Still usually hungry when she gets home!

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