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School Lunch and Kids

Original post made by FrustratedParent, Palo Verde, on Sep 29, 2006

Is it me - or are there more parents out there who are frustrated with the fact that their school going kid bring back their lunch untouched? With me - does not matter what I give - it comes back ! Excuses are - didnt' want to spend time in eating - that cuts into my play time ! The answer to the question "but, didn't you feel hungry" - usually is, "yes, I was hungry later on, but it was ok - not too bad" ... and then all hell breaks loose when we get home ... its sheer hunger that leads to tantrums and fuss!

I tried sending healthy food, I tried sending junk food - its not the food in the end, its the lack of interest in eating.

How does one get around this ?

Comments (8)

Posted by Palo Verde Mom
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 29, 2006 at 5:39 pm

I have the same problem. Usually he eats something at recess and skips lunch (unless it is pizza day when he buys pizza and choc milk and eats those). It used to be that the lunch duty person made them sit at the benches for the first 10 mins. of lunch and then dismiss them to play, but I think that has gone with lack of personnel and it is only the teachers now who do not follow through with this old rule. Maybe as parents we should try and get something re-instated.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 30, 2006 at 5:37 pm

We have the kids make a list of things they want in their lunch. Then we have THEM pack it! The key to this is to not look at what they pack, because it ususally not what you would have packed! As long as you don't buy junk, they wont pack junk.

Posted by ohlone parent
a resident of Ohlone School
on Sep 30, 2006 at 6:06 pm

I also have my elementary kids help pack food. We talk about how the brain needs food to work well, and that they need to eat during break times.

If they choose not to eat, that is their choice. There is a consequence to every choice. If they don't eat, the consequence is they feel hungry before dinner...but they still have to wait for dinner. If the consequence is that they are in a bad mood, then we talk about why they feel that way and how they can keep that from happening the next day.

The schools do the best they can with their resources. Unless they have 400 people watching 400 kids, then they can't see it all. Instead of trying to have the schools guard the kids and make them eat, why not teach our children to make their choices and live with the consequences?

Posted by AnotherFrustratedParent
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2006 at 6:10 am

We moved from Fremont to Palo Alto 2 years ago. At that time, Fremont unified school ditrict lunch was $1.75 and the food was decent. My kids ate the school lunches there, which was more or less the norm there, and I never have to worry about packing lunches. After moving to Palo Alto, other than pizza and spagatti days, my kids refuse to eat school lunches. And it was $2.75 here for so small quantity, and now $3 plus service fees. The property value is higher in Palo Alto than Fremont, but the food cost should not be this much higher!! Safeway, Wholefoods food prices are the same across the bay. There must be something wrong here.

Now I have to wake up early to cook and pack them hot lunches in thermals everyday. My kids are not picky eaters. My son is in Jordan this year and another reason he refuses to buy lunches is because waiting in line would take up almost his entire lunch time!!

Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2006 at 10:03 pm

If you want to see some terrific lunches, check out
Web Link

The site is not so interesting now because she's homeschooling this year, but go back in the archives like the above link for fantastic lunches.

Posted by Palo Alto Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2006 at 8:18 pm

Now I know there are some hot threads on the school topics at present, but if I remember correctly, there was another thread here on school lunches which seems to have disappeared. Some people are involved in the hot topics, but others just want to discuss lunches. I can't see why this thread is going on while the other thread is missing. I expect to see the other return or this one disappear too. Then we will know what is exactly going on in this Forum.

Posted by Palo Alto Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Sorry, just found it. My mistake.

Posted by Out of Ideas
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 17, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Trudy, Thanks so much for the link to the Vegan Lunch Box. We are not vegan, but I love the site for the sheer enthusiasm this woman has for preparing healthy and ATTRACTIVE lunches.

Whatever I put in the lunch box in the morning comes right home again at pick up time and I'm afraid that I've run out of ideas. My child takes a medication that suppresses the appetite and we have to go to the pediatrician for quarterly weight checks.

I'm hopeful that if I take some of the advice from this thread (involving my child in packing the lunch - and finding ways to make the lunch LOOK GOOD) then perhaps we can manage a modest weight gain before the next check up.

As it stands now, I try to stuff the poor child at breakfast, afterschool snack time and dinner to make up for what isn't eaten at morning snack and lunchtime. I'm open to any other ideas people have. Thanks.

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