We Are Saying No To Free School Dinners

I have to admit when I first heard that Oli would be getting free school dinners I fist pumped the air. This meant saving both time and money on buying and preparing his lunchbox, anything that makes our busy lives easier has to be good right? Wrong.


Oli had his first week of school dinners along with a few days of dinners in the second week; he’s missed the last two days of school that week because he was full of cold. The snarky side of me wants to comment that it was probably down to the lack of vegetables in his daytime diet. What no vegetables? From what I’m hearing the standards of the free school dinners which my son has been telling me all about don’t quite sound like the kind of dinner I would want to expose my 5-year-old to. Take for example the pizza, chips & cake dinner he had the one day. Apparently, he only had the chips because the pizza and cake weren’t very nice. I was at first horrified because I couldn’t believe they had given this as the day’s dinner, but then I was even more horrified when I remembered my son loves pizza and cake so it must have been really bad for him to of not wanted it.

So we have decided to say hello to lunch boxes again but this time around I’m really going to add in the fun factor. Now that Charlotte is older and will happily play on her mat or sleep in like the lazy girly she is, I have plenty of time in the mornings to prepare his lunch for the day. Before Oli started school last year I made a Pinterest board full of various ideas, many involving Bento but I never did get round to putting any of these pins into actual practice. Well, that’s going to change, and now that I’ve discovered the Eats Amazing shop I have bought a few bits and pieces to start us off, I’m also thinking we definitely need to invest in a YumBox to make storing it all much easier. I’m liking the idea of making Dylan’s lunches fun as well seeing as we either eat lunch at the table together, picnic style on the lounge floor or taking our lunches out and about to various toddler groups/friends houses.

I am annoyed though that he has to eat his lunch in his classroom which I think is unfair because school work and food time should be separate. And I’m also worried he will hurry his food and not eat it because he wants to play with his friends who will be eating dinner separately from him. I don’t like this separation between the two; segregation isn’t what food should be about. But I do understand there are space restrictions. I’ve also found out since I started to draft this post that the meals are made at another school across the road and then bought across to the school, so I have to question exactly how fresh the food is by the time it gets dished up to my child.

What are the dinners like at your children’s school and how have your children taken to them?