The Great Packed Lunch Issue

Yet again in the news there is another report of school clamping down on what parents are putting into their kids packed lunch.

In the age of promoting healthy eating and making sure we get our ‘5 a day’ along with a balanced nutritious diet are schools taking it a step too far?

Today I read about the school using year 6 pupils to monitor what is in other children’s packed lunches. Who in their right mind thought this would be a good idea? Then there was the case of the boy not being allowed to go to school in the big mini cheddar fiasco and I can’t help thinking it’s gone a little, well very extreme.

Shouldn’t we as parents know what good for our kids? And shouldn’t they be allowed a little treat once in a while? Because we all know the more you are told NOT to do something, well the more you want it right!

While I do agree with promoting healthy packed lunches schools need to conscious of the fact that there is a line and it’s a fine line. Is a child to go hungry at lunch because they don’t agree with what parents have packed? Surely there must be a better way of promoting or even suggesting alternatives that are more suitable than others?

I always try to make sure Olivia has at least 2 portions of fruit/salad in her lunch box. She drinks water, takes a yoghurt and cheesestring of some variety and maybe a mini chocolate muffin/chocolate biscuits ie mini fingers. Her lunch box usually looks something like this:

  • Tuna Mayo Sandwich
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Fruit bag
  • Cheesestring
  • Frubes
  • Crisps/mini muffin/biscuits pack/pack of fridge raiders

Personally I feel like this is a suitable lunch for Olivia with all bases covered. Maybe a bit of a big lunch but fairly balanced and one I know she will enjoy.

Personally I would fuming if the school ever told me she couldn’t have certain things in her lunch box or if she came home telling me she wasn’t allowed to eat certain things.

They do tell us that no sweets/chocolate bars and the like are allowed in lunch boxes and I try to steer clear mainly as Olivia has mentioned kids have had items like this taken off them.

So as a mum with a child taking a packed lunch to school I have a few ideas of how this issue could be approached.

 

  1. Β Free school meals for all problem solved!
  2. Β Send out a specific letter letting parents know what type of foods should be in lunch boxes and what they should try to avoid.
  3. Β Advise parents on cheap and healthy alternatives are available.
  4. Encourage kids to try new foods in schools ( this is a good way to get them to try new things especially if they are like Olivia who hates trying new things)
  5. Supply an alternative packed lunch as opposed to just hot dinners. Give parents the option of a school supplied dinner to vary what their child has to eat.
What do you think? Have schools gone too far or is being strict on what pupils eat a good start in the battle against childhood obesity?
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  1. It's a police state we live in these days. Olivia's packed lunch is perfectly acceptable and what really wicks me off it that they don't monitor what they're having at school if on school dinners anyway, meaning Carson comes home having had something ridiculous most days. Feewwwm!

  2. I don't know about other schools but my youngests school has gone way over the top. The only drink allowed is water and has to be in a clear bottle, no chocolate at all. Not even chocolate chips in muffins, no nuts, there has to be fruit and no crisps or anything like crisps….I'm glad my girls have school dinners.