School dinner times

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  • Penguin_ said:
    Who have you asked in the school? Could it be worth asking the head teacher?
    We did but he just said we cant alter it just for the minority, which suggests there are a few more like that, but that doesn't help anything.
    As parents we find 15 minutes ridiculous for a 5 year old, as they get easily distracted with their friends which is what we think is happening.

  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,706
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    Sorry she doesnt have packed lunch, its proper school dinners.
    We dont know why shes a slow eater, I guess everyones different.
    The problem is we tried to rush her once and she choked and scared the heck out of us, so I dont want to do that again.


    I used to be a slow eater, especially school meals as I really did not like food and I was not allowed to leave anything on my plate but if it was time to go back to class I had to leave what was on my plate.  Is she hungry at meal time or eating a lot at morning break?
  • sheramber said:
    You need to address why    she takes  longer than the rest of the class.

    Is  she slow chewing and swallowing? Has that been checked? My sister had problems chewing meat as a child. It was thought she was just lazy until a dentist explained her back teeth do not meet. So she could not chew properly.  Decades later she still has the same problem.

    Or is she distracted instead of concentrating on eating?   


    Yeah the dentist is happy with her teeth, we think as you say its the distraction rather than concentrate on eating she wants to be interactive with her friends.
    That said shes like it at home too, if we have cartoons on or cbeebies she won't eat, so we have to turn it off. 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
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    At my grandson's school  the classes are kept separate as a 'class bubble'.

    Dinner is a packed lunch type and is eaten in the classroom. Each  class is allowed out into the playground at specific times so they don't t mix.

    So varying the set times would not be possible.
  • sheramber said:
    At my grandson's school  the classes are kept separate as a 'class bubble'.

    Dinner is a packed lunch type and is eaten in the classroom. Each  class is allowed out into the playground at specific times so they don't t mix.

    So varying the set times would not be possible.
    But surely a child needs to eat otherwise they will suffer fatigue, that should in theory be priority over playtimes. Plus its not pack lunch our daughter has, its proper cooked school dinners, so she wastes most of it everyday.
    We saud to her the importance of eating her meals but she said no sooner she starts eating miss said meal break is over. This is deeply concerning. 
  • See in our day a dinner lady would be patrolling the tables making sure the children ate their meals. This is sadly lacking these days. 
  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,551
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    We had this issue with our 8 year old (who is a slow eater generally, but not unusually so) when she first went back to school after lockdown back in September. She was used to a much longer period to eat and was being compressed into as little as 10 minutes at times which meant she just couldn't finish her meal. It was because the staff needed time to fully clean and sanitise the dining area before the next class went in. However, 10-15 minutes is not long when you are a child. If you have a school dinner it's possibly also compressed still further than having a packed lunch, and there is increased risk that the child will eat more slowly because it's not necessarily going to be food that they'd want so they may take more time to approach it. 

    I would certainly continue to flag it with the school. In the end our school allowed our child to take her lunchbox back into the classroom and finish it there (that was where they went for the rest of breaktime back in "bubble days") so that meant that at least she had the option. Could it be worth asking for something similar for your child? Good luck :)
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
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    sheramber said:
    At my grandson's school  the classes are kept separate as a 'class bubble'.

    Dinner is a packed lunch type and is eaten in the classroom. Each  class is allowed out into the playground at specific times so they don't t mix.

    So varying the set times would not be possible.
    But surely a child needs to eat otherwise they will suffer fatigue, that should in theory be priority over playtimes. Plus its not pack lunch our daughter has, its proper cooked school dinners, so she wastes most of it everyday.
    We saud to her the importance of eating her meals but she said no sooner she starts eating miss said meal break is over. This is deeply concerning. 
    Your daughter obviously doesn't  thinking esting is more importAnt if she is distracted by what is happening around her.

    If your child is delaying eating her meal why should everybody else be inconvenienced,

    The teacher  on dinner duty has to  get her lunch, the dinner staff have to clear up before their shift ends.

    There may be another class to come in to eat.

    How long should everybody else be delayed to accommodate your daughter?

    Have you  asked the school why they are only allowed 15 minutes?

    Can whoever is supervising the dinners keep an eye on your daughter to encourage her to eat rather than be distracted?

    You need to work with the school and your daughter over this. 






  • cannugec5
    cannugec5 Posts: 404
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    This feels so wrong. As a paediatric nurse I used to tube feed many children. We were trained to make the feed last a minimum of 30 minutes ( although the feed could easily be administered in 5 minutes), to give the youngster time and normalise feeding. 
    I am shocked and disappointed that anyone would think a 15 minute lunch break acceptable . I don’t know any adult who has a break that short. At 5 they are just learning, and are newly independent. Pandemic or not they need time to eat to remain healthy. 
    I do hope the OP. Does not accept this situation.
  • zzyzx1221
    zzyzx1221 Posts: 188
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    cannugec5 said:
    This feels so wrong. As a paediatric nurse I used to tube feed many children. We were trained to make the feed last a minimum of 30 minutes ( although the feed could easily be administered in 5 minutes), to give the youngster time and normalise feeding. 
    I am shocked and disappointed that anyone would think a 15 minute lunch break acceptable . I don’t know any adult who has a break that short. At 5 they are just learning, and are newly independent. Pandemic or not they need time to eat to remain healthy. 
    I do hope the OP. Does not accept this situation.
    15 minutes to eat a sandwich and an apple or whatever is perfectly fine. I don't ever recall taking that long to eat a meal as a youngster.  Perhaps you're confusing the sit-down meal time with the time they have out of class for lunch?

    I also don't see what the relevance is to squeezing nutrient paste down a tube to a child eating a meal?  Even then you say it can be done in five minutes...
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