Free school meals for all infant children

(564 Posts)
Scarletbanner Tue 17-Sep-13 17:11:15

What do you think? I think it's a great idea.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24132416

NonnoMum Tue 17-Sep-13 17:35:12

Brilliant idea.

ShepherdsPurse Tue 17-Sep-13 17:35:36

Most school meals are vile. I would rather the money was spent on getting the education right. And maybe fresh fruit etc at break times.

ShepherdsPurse Tue 17-Sep-13 17:36:38

It would be great that every child has a hot meal a day, but most do anyway. No point giving them all these nice dinners and then having no bloody resources to teach them with.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 17-Sep-13 17:37:41

And I really agree re. The social aspect. ALL the children sitting down and eating a proper cooked meal together sounds great.

frogwatcher42 Tue 17-Sep-13 17:38:19

Back for Good. I agree with your opinion.

Much better to raise the threshold of FSM so more families needing help are included. There are loads of families above the threshold with older children who genuinely struggle so why would you choose (as a government) to fund rich families a meal just because they happen to have a young child.

Actually think it is a bit insulting to only offer it to those young children. What about the year 6's who are far more likely to fill up on junk walking to and from school, and need more food during the day. The young ones already get free fruit.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 17:38:37

Until September rolls around, there's always our lunch box tips and lunch box recipes!

XBenedict Tue 17-Sep-13 17:40:36

I think it's a great idea in theory. I really hope it improves the quality of the meals. I read the recent report on school dinners where the idea of free school meals came from, it was an interesting read. They said at the moment school dinners are too unpopular, if more children ate them the quality would improve because there would be more money available. At the moment school dinners are being run like a consistently half empty restaurant and are being heavily subsidised by the government. Their recommendation for free school meals, in their opinion and calculations, should save money and improve quality.

mrsravelstein Tue 17-Sep-13 17:40:37

ds1 came home from school ravenous every day for the 4 years he was at a school with compulsory school meals. the only thing he ate were the bread rolls, and if they'd run out, he'd have nothing.

OddBoots Tue 17-Sep-13 17:40:52

I imagine the idea is to start with the youngest children then roll it out to the older ones as time goes on - these things have to start somewhere.

misdee Tue 17-Sep-13 17:41:23

Great idea! However dd4 will still be having a packed lunch due to multiple allergies.

ShepherdsPurse Tue 17-Sep-13 17:41:29

Have they said where this money would be coming from? What cutbacks would there be in order to raise the funds for FSM for all? It has to come from somewhere and all we keep hearing is the 'pot' is empty.
So before we think how marvellous it would all be I think we need to see the bigger picture .

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 17-Sep-13 17:42:36

School meals are by no means always healthy. They are generally speaking not healthy for vegetarian or vegan children. I see no reason to believe that they will magically become so.

My kids are all too old for this, my youngest is in Y6 now - but if this was a few years ago I would still be sending my kids to school with packed lunches.

poachedeggs Tue 17-Sep-13 17:42:41

I agree with Back too.

No chance with my dd. she eats like a bird half the time. I'd never make up the shortfall from the shit they serve. She was on them a term before. Never again!!

ShepherdsPurse Tue 17-Sep-13 17:44:54

Perhaps there will be even less servicemen and women on the fronline without proper kit. Perhaps there will be even more stretches doctors and nurses in our hospitals. Perhaps there will be more redundancies of police, fire, ambulance people.

I know which I would rather have.

frogwatcher42 Tue 17-Sep-13 17:46:40

Our school does lovely meals - really healthy and very tasty (we go in for regular meals with kids (have to pay!!)).

However, I see loads of kids eat only the pizza, or a sausage, or the bread and leave the rest. They are clever and joke around about chopping into little bits and scraping the veg round the plate to mash it up so its not noticeable (as staff supervise the scrape into the bin to see what they have eaten!). They do a good job and it looks like all the veg has been eaten and just the scapings left!!! My kids now try it at home too.

I don't think a lot of kids have a healthy meal even though what goes on their plate is a lovely healthy meal. Just think how often most of us have to remind them to eat parts of a meal at home that they would leave through choice!!!

OddBoots Tue 17-Sep-13 17:47:40

I bet the schools will be pleased not to have all that admin and the need to chase non-payers. In that regard it will save the schools themselves money.

frogwatcher42 Tue 17-Sep-13 17:47:42

I don't get how the government can find these extra pots of money at a drop of a hat, when they want to.

Yet bleat on about needing to cut benefits, cut NHS funding, cut council funding etc at other times.

Anybody???????

Chusband Tue 17-Sep-13 17:48:47

Totally ignorant here but is there not so e kind of nutritional guidelines that school dinners should meet? If not, shouldn't there be?

Or is this what Jamie Oliver was trying to do some years ago?

Sirzy Tue 17-Sep-13 17:49:45

Odd - unless they are being given extra staff and money for space to prepare the extra meals then it won't save the schools money!

Jojay Tue 17-Sep-13 17:50:08

We'll, I've just told DS1 and 2. Ds2 is in reception and if chuffed to be getting them. Ds1 is gutted that he'll be in Yr 3 next year so will miss out.

So it's a this up in this house.

frogwatcher42 Tue 17-Sep-13 17:50:41

Chusband - there are guidelines and I think most schools (surely all) meet them.

Doesnt make the kids eat it though. Supervision at mealtimes in a lot of schools is poor and the kids only eat what they like on the plate.

What is the point of providing a perfectly balanced plate of food if they only eat the wedges and bread???

Jojay Tue 17-Sep-13 17:50:44

* thumbs up

Yonihadtoask Tue 17-Sep-13 17:51:40

I think school meals should be compulsory for all primary children.

I read this thread, and remember that at my primary ALL the children ate school dinner - apart from one or two who went home for lunch.

However it was much more civilised than the canteen style they have now. Everyone had a designated table, and there was no choice of food. You had dinner. It was always properly cooked stuff too, like meat pies, and sponge and custard for pudding.

DS is 15, and has been to three schools in his primary years. Only one of them had decent meals.

The press have linked this to the savings from the Child Benefit cuts. They have just flogged 6% of Lloyds for £3.2bn.

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