Lunchbox Police

So we are back at school again and Emmy has already asked twice if she can change to home packed lunches and as always I’ve said NO.
The reason she wants to change is because a few of her friends have home packed lunches.
I know she wants to copy her friends and I feel a little sorry for her but no I won’t make her a packed lunch when she can have a cooked dinner at school for free.
I actually started her off with school dinners thinking it would help with her fussy eating, if she saw her friends trying then she may try something new too.
Well that’s backfired on me and she rarely tries anything new, even though the menu is actually very varied and exciting.   If she doesn’t know what it is or it looks new she won’t try.
Her default is to go for Jacket Potato with cheese and Beans every single day.
I know a couple of her friends do this too, it’s the easy option – they know it’s something they like.
They are told by their parents to choose something different and not have this everyday, and that’s absolutely fine.
I on the otherhand have told Emmy and the teachers if she wants it everyday to let her have it.
I don’t think it’s a bad option. It’s a hot meal, it’s something she likes and will eat all of so I don’t have to worry she will be hungry while at school.
I also see it as being no different to having the same sandwich every single day, which is what would happen if she has home packed lunch as she only like cheese or marmite,  therefore there would be little variation anyway.
OK I could add other things into her lunchbox to change it but with all the lunchbox police rules on what they are allowed it doesn’t leave much room for movement anyway.


Yesterday I saw something posted onto Facebook which proved this point to the extreme. Posted onto Mumsnet was a list of lunchboxes rules which one parent had recieved,  this is the most extreme cases I’ve ever seen and I would definitely struggle with what I could put in with my fussy eater.  You can read the post here.
I shared this onto my fb page and everyone agreed how ludicrous the rules were.


Yikes, What on earth are you supposed to put in lunch boxes then?
Posted by Emmysmummy (QuinnyCaster 2011) on Thursday, 16 April 2015

” We do not allow sweets, fruit winders/fruit school bars/dried fruit (sugar content is high), nuts, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, cakes (homemade or otherwise), no chocolate mousse/yogurts or pudding, no processed food (including such items as ham, cheese slices, cream cheese, corned beef, chicken roll, sandwich meats with added water), no fruit yogurts that have been previously frozen, NO FOOD item that’s been previously frozen, no tinned or frozen fruit, no chocolate spread or peanut butter.

What a very crazy list of foods and it got worse – “Food that is not suitable will be returned to parents in a clear bag with an explanation of why, if repeatedly providing incorrect items they will be charged £2 per item and your child will be excluded from the setting until charges have been paid”
It’s definitely made me stay firm with my decision that Emmy can stick with school dinners,  even if she has Jacket Potato with Cheese and Beans everyday of her school life – at least she eats them and won’t be hungry.Thankfully this isn’t her School.

What are your thoughts on these rules?


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19 thoughts on “Lunchbox Police

  1. I've always made packed lunches for the kids, I find it easier to monitor how much they are eating as they bring leftovers home and I also quite enjoy doing bento boxes etc and leaving them notes! x

  2. We have the same issue with Seb, whose best friend always brings a packed lunch. I just don't think it's worth it because even though he asks for one, on the rare occasion he's had one he won't eat half of it. I'd rather know he's eating something the school are happy with, that I'm happy with and that he is happy with too.

  3. Isaac refuses to have school dinners and the school rules for packed lunch are ridiculous, plus we have kids with allergies so not allowed nuts or sesame seeds as well as cakes, chocolate bars

  4. I think they don't make sense at all. My Emma is a fussy eater too and she has been eating the same thing every day since school started: ham sandwich, a BabyBel, a piece of fruit and something sweet.
    I would dread being told she can no longer have her choice, as like you, I would worry she would go hungry.xx

  5. Lunch boxes are a real problem in a lot of schools. Our school has pretty much gone back to just no chocolate, but they did have a phase of 'no sugary snacks' at all. It was frustrating for both my son and I, because the School Dinner eaters could choose chocolate cake or strawberry custard for pudding, sometimes even ice cream, and the packed lunches weren't allowed to bring anything other than fruit!

  6. Sometimes I feel like the world has just gone plain bonkers. Lunch box police?!! I'm so glad that my son didn't have such "rules" when he was in primary school.

    I can understand bans on things like peanut products if there is a child with an allergy, but us as parents can best judge what to feed our children, not the pseudo health experts that some teachers like to thing they are!

  7. My boys are school dinners through and through. but that is the easy choice as they eat everything. They operative a table system with the younger children where an older pupil is table mentor for the week and they get the water out and all the vegetables in to a serving bowl in the center of the table. They also help the younger ones chose their main and then cut it up and serve them the vegetables. All the vegetables, they do not ask them if they like it, they just give them some! It works really well. The older child eats with them and is on hand to help throughout the meal and the younger children see the older ones eating well. Both my boys are frequent table mentors.

  8. It's important for children to eat healthily, but some people definitely go too far. I was seeing the optometrist about my daughter's vision the other day, and she told me off because my son was drinking a carton of (unsweetened) orange juice. Too much sugar, apparently!

  9. I think that's terrible! I'd be tempted to send a letter fining the school for food wastage if they sent things home, suggesting they donate the fine to a charity

  10. I'm all for healthy eating, but it can be taken too far. They do check lunchboxes at school, but I only found that out recently as my son had never mentioned it (I think because we have passed so far). Another parent with a fussy eater was moaning about being told off for not having enough healthy stuff. I know my lunchbox isn't perfect with white bread rather than brown, but at least it gets eaten.

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