The last ten different items I have put in my daughters lunchbox, she has been told she’s not allowed! These range from miniature biscuits, homemade or shop bought mini cakes to little chocolate bars. (The ones the shops advertise as ideal for school lunches).

I only ever put one small sweet item in her lunch box because iv always felt that after a savoury lunch its nice to have something sweet. Plus I like her to have a balanced diet. I don’t encourage too much junk food, but at the same time, I don’t see how a little bit in moderation each day can hurt. The school however say that these items are not “appropriate”.

Aside from the fact I find it absolutely horrendous that the school are trying to tell us what our own children can and can’t eat… Here are some of the things straight off the school menu that the school give our children….

Shortbread biscuit with icing,
chocolate pudding,
chocolate custard,
chocolate mousse,
chocolate krispie cakes,
chocolate crunch,
sponge pudding,
ice cream.

These 11 items are the puddings offered on 11days out of a 15 day menu rotation!

Now is it just me or do these things sound like chocolate, biscuits and cakes – the very things the school bans us from giving our children?

Isn’t this giving out confusing messages for our children? The school are basically telling them that certain foods are socially unacceptable; and then giving them similar foods. For an older child concerned with body image, these sorts of mixed messages could contribute to eating disorders and for young children, its giving a pretty negative vibe to food.

Apparently crisps are allowed, but we all know the high levels of saturated fat and salt in crisps are much worse for children than the sugar they’d get from a biscuit or piece of chocolate. My daughter’s not a big crisp eater anyway. Did I mention that the school often gives them chips and hot dogs for lunch? I’m sure the nutritional values in those aren’t that high!

Aside from which, chocolate releases endorphins which make people happy, and the only damage sugar does is to your teeth… Isn’t that why we brush our teeth? And our children lose all their first teeth anyway!

As I am rapidly running out of ideas of what to put in my daughters lunchbox aside from crisps yoghurt and fruit, my tolerance of this ridiculous school policy is also wearing thin. I just don’t understand how they can justify these rules!

  1. Claire says:

    I feel exactly the same. Generally my children get a sandwich, fruit, cheese/crackers, yoghurt, mini pepperami and a biscuit or something in their lunch box. I don’t think a biscuit does any harm. But apparently they are not allowed to have chocolate or cakes or sweets. I don’t know to what extent this is enforced, because we have never had anything official from school – just the children have been told by the dinner ladies that it will be taken off them. Putting such constraints on to young children is ridiculous. I can understand if a particular child brought nothing but junk, maybe having a word with that parent, but a blanket rule along these lines is wrong, imo. I am a perfectly responsible parent and I know how to feed my boys a balanced diet, and I object to being told what I should or shouldn’t give them! And yes, cakes, cookies and ice cream also seem to feature highly in our school dinners too. If my boys would let me, I’d put something “forbidden” in to their lunch just so they’d get it taken away and I’d have cause to kick up a fuss! Either that or hollow out an apple and stuff it with chocolate 😉
    (I wanted to blog about this a few months ago, but didn’t dare cos I know the head has been known to read my blog!)

  2. Cathy says:

    It does seem like a rather bizarre policy. This is my children’s first week at school here in the UK so packed lunch vs school dinner is a whole new thing for us. My daughter asked just this morning can’t she have something sweet as her friends have small iced cakes in their lunch boxes. I still have to analyse the menu in fine detail. My son had a school dinner for the first time yesterday and he really liked it, and there were more desserts on offer, than what was mentioned on the menu. The menu said fruit salad and he went for apple crumble.

  3. Claire says:

    Hi yes it is the same at our school. My son has dinners and has a pudding every day. Some days it is fruit wedges but ‘school made’cakes and biscuits too. The lunch box rules only state no sweets. I usually make banana, carrot or fruit cake for in the week and a fairy or cup cake for a treat on Fridays. But when busy will buy some thing and then usually find out its not allowed.:-( They’re allowed crisps too although she doesn’t take them. Also some of the flavored water and yogurts kids bring in can contain quite a bit of sugar . x

  4. quarterpastthree says:

    This is hypocrisy at its worst, and you are right, it is undoubtedly giving the children the wrong message. Thankfully the Lunchbox Nazis don’t operate in my children’s school because I’d certainly protest about it if they did. I too almost always give my children a small sweet treat to have after their savoury food (e.g. a small choc biscuit, flapjack, yoghurt, mini muffin) and sometimes (maybe twice a week max) they have crisps. I’m comfortable with this because I know that my kids have a balanced diet overall, including plenty (and I mean plenty) of fruit and vegetables.
    I disagree that school meals are ‘healthier’ and I also object to the constant promotion of ‘cereal bars’ as a ‘healthy’ snack. Most of those bars are crammed full of sugar and have more calories than a chocolate biscuit.
    At our school we have a Parent User Group, a kind of school council where parents can suggest ideas / raise objections. Do you have anything similar? How about speaking to the Head?

    • crazywithtwins says:

      I’m pretty certain in her school “the head” should have the name “Dick” in there somewhere. He gets defensive, condescending, denies everything and is quite frankly insufferable when it comes to handling complaints.
      I should mention, she’s not even allowed squash, fruit juice, milk or anything more exciting than water at school so she just doesn’t drink and comes home dehydrated.

      This is a school that’s ranked outstanding by ofsted!!!

  5. Wendy Rose says:

    Wow… that’s just… wow. I can only imagine what they’d say when I send my kids to school with “crazy vegan food”. Who are they to say what’s best for your child when YOU are the parent? AND they serve so much junk food anyway. Ugh.

  6. Kirsty says:

    Why don’t you try putting in whatever the dessert is for that day? So if the school dinner menu says it is a shortbread biscuit with icing then give your daughter an iced shortbread biscuit; if the menu item is a muffin then give her a muffin. Obviously it doesn’t work everyday – ice cream would be a bit messy by lunch time! You should be able to match quite a few days though – enough that if they complain that your dessert is unhealthy you can point out it is the same as the school dessert.

    We have a slightly different problem. Our children have school dinners and our son often chooses the “cold” option which is supposed to be your choice from the salad bar with protein of the day (ie a piece of quiche or chicken breast). The lovely Boy frequently has a plate full of grated carrot for his lunch! My complaints that this isn’t good for him have fallen on deaf ears, as far as they are concerned he is presented with a healthy selection to choose from and it isn’t their fault if he consistently eats only one item! In other schools they insist that you have to have at least one item from each section and they put potatoes, pasta, couscous etc in one section, green salad items in another section and bright salad items in another section.

  7. Keren says:

    Umm. What can you say? Crazy. Nuts. I understand an encouragement from the school in regards to healthy eating but that’s where it needs to stop. Double standards seem to be at play here. Our school encouraged healthy eating and bans sweets and chocolate which I think is fair enough. Milk- in the winter will not spoil and i can’t understand the rationale behind banning that one. At the end of the day it is the parents choice. School can only advise.

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      It is indeed insane! And you are definitely right on the double standards. Last week I sent her to school with squash in her water bottle because she point blank refuses to drink water and I was worried about her dehydrating. Apparently the dinner lady just said “it’s ok, I don’t mind”… yeah like I care if she did mind! lol. Thanks for commenting. x

      • Julia P says:

        Just a thought – have you tried something like belvoir elderflower cordial – you can’t really tell that it is in the water from looking at it,so the school might not notice?

  8. Hayley F says:

    I think this is terrible about school meals. When i was at school we had a a biscuit and crisps in our lunchbox and didn’t grow up to be overweight.

    The children are going to become so conscious of what they eat that they will go the other way and end up with eating disorders.

    Also surely children are going to get home and eat all the junk food in the cupboards anyway. x

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