Any ideas for packed lunches within school rules?


Britishgal

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So my son's school sent home a letter dictating what we can put in his lunch box...I'd been doing cold roast chicken or other meats with veg and fruit...obviously I've been doing it wrong...

No cooked meat

No cooked fish

No cooked eggs

No cooked rice or pasta

No leftovers

No cooked veg

Nothing hot in thermos flasks

What in the name of all that is holy can I feed him??

Like his lactose intolerant dad he loathes cheese, I can't handle wheat so sandwiches are out and whilst he loves fish he hates tinned fish.

According to other mums apparently meat in sandwiches is ok...go figure. Ok as long as it's in bread covered in cheap mayo.

I am ok to keep on putting cut up cucumber or carrot sticks in as well as fruit...but what about protein?

I'm certainly not putting him on school lunches again where cheap sausages, deep fried hash browns and sugar laden baked beans seemed to be a staple followed by pudding and custard every day...Oddly the letter also said we can't give them cake or biscuits in packed lunches (not that I would) but it's ok for them to do puddings daily in hot lunches.

I'm stumped!!

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Steak tartare? Sashimi?  ;)

 

Can you go and talk to the school about some kind of exemption, explaining that your son will not eat cheese (play up the family history of lactose intolerance if there's any chance he may suffer from that too), so that's not an option, and that you do not even keep bread in your house due to allergies (again, if you suspect that your son may also have similar allergies, play that up)? Surely you're not the only person in the school who cannot meet these requirements for whatever reason, allergies or preferences (I know some kids will flat out refuse to eat anything other than certain foods, what do those kids do if their thing they're willing to eat at the moment is just hamburger meat?)

 

There are healthy-ish lunch meats and hot dogs, but technically those things are cooked meats, so I don't know if that works or not? If they did, I guess you could make "sandwiches" of that on cucumber rounds. Jerky?

 

What are their reasons for not allowing these things? I don't get it. I'm trying to figure out how these rules even make sense. :huh:

 

I think, if it were me (and bear in mind, I don't actually have kids, the two in my pic are my nephews, so this is speculation on my part), if they don't immediately grant you some kind of exemption to let you keep packing what you want to pack, I'd make as much noise about it as you can, stress that you know how best to feed your child and what he's willing to eat. Talk to the teacher, the principal, the school board (or whatever equivalent you have there -- there must be some group of people in charge), Facebook groups, PTA, parenting groups -- make yourself a nuisance. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say. (If they had these rules from the very beginning and this is a private school that you chose to put him in knowing those rules, it would be different, but it sounds like you had no idea this is what the rules were before or that these rules weren't in place before, so I think you're well within your rights to complain.)

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I may go and talk to the headmistress ( I am PTA treasurer so know her well) but apparently the orders come from the council for food safety reasons so I'm not sure she'll budge. Apparently they can't refrigerate lunch boxes...which I think is ridiculous.

I thought about deli meats...but not sure what difference there is health and safety wise?

My son is half Chinese and like many Chinese families lactose intolerances affect the whole family so although I haven't had him tested he is better off on no milk (I am intolerant to milk too). He used to get constant colds before I cut it out. He's refused to eat cheese since babyhood (his dad can't bear it so I got used to not feeding it to him and I've never even thought about giving it to my son for years)

I'm horrified to be honest that basically anything except sandwiches seems off limits. There was a line about healthy whole grains but I ignored that as it's basically pish.

Apparently they are a "healthy eating" school and whole grains are a part of a healthy balanced diet *headdesk* I'm not sure how the chocolate pudding, custard, pizza, bright yellow curry, hash browns, baked beans and flavoured milks they feed the kids who have hot meals fall into "healthy eating".

I am thinking they don't check the other kids sandwiches for the illegal food stuffs...I'm betting there are a lot of ham or beef or chicken sandwiches (they are only allowed honey or jam ones in Friday's...)

I'm tempted to try sashimi just to see what happens!!

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Nope...he has an insulated lunch box...makes no difference.

The only other option is to bring him home for lunch but he is a quiet only child who is often in his own and missing lunchtime with his schoolmates would affect him horribly ;(

I can't believe I'm even suggesting this, but instead of bringing him home, do you have the ability to bring lunch to him?

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Just...wow. So lunch meats (which are a higher risk food for contamination with listeria bacteria, which is part of why pregnant ladies aren't supposed to have them) are okay but meat that you've cooked yourself isn't? I suppose you could get pouches of tuna so he can open it at school but that's pretty boring without anything to go with it. Maybe instead of a list of nos they should have given you a list of "these are the only things your kid can have"...might have been easier.

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Well...I've been sending him with my home roasted chicken sliced really finely (masquerading as deli meat) this week and no more issues. Seemingly you have to be sneaky and pretend everything they eat is processed, full of additives and makes more profits for the supermarkets.

Also we just had a discussion about food (instigated by him) and he said a lunch lady told him he should be eating carbohydrates...I told him vegetables are carbohydrates and not to worry and he accepted that. How does an unqualified lunch assistant feel she has a right to comment to a 7 year old about what she thinks should be in the lunch his own mother packed??

Sheesh.

I'm holding back in the taking lunch in idea until we see if the deli meat con plays out...

I'm trying sliced roast beef next week (I can get that from my butcher sliced in small quantities with nothing nasty) and may make mini versions of my scotch eggs with almond meal in the outside to masquerade as supermarket offerings

;)

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Just a suggestion...how about sunflower seed butter? I always have trouble w protein sources. I know this is more a fat source but does have protein as well. You can buy it at health shops or online.

On celery

On paleo bread if you use those at all.

Avocado also chia pudding and a seeded trail mix???

Paleo beef jerky

It is very limited I know. Best of luck :)

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That is the craziest list of banned foods I think i've ever seen. Guessing nuts are out, too? Whilst I don't have any kids, I can sympathise with you - my younger brother is a fussy eater and used to only like nut butter sandwiches and raw energy bars - and the dinner staff used to separate him from the rest of the kids and make him eat alone (without telling my parents) because he was an 'allergy danger'. Sigh. 

You say no hot foods in thermos - how about chilled soups? Chilled chicken soup or even chilled stews, would they be allowed? 

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Yep...no nuts!!

I'm not sure if he'd eat cold stews but it's something I could look at trying ;) I'm currently getting round it with mini sausages, meat sliced to look like packaged deli meat and my own scotch eggs.

I'm going to try salmon fish cakes this week I think

Luckily he likes fruit and veg and is happy with raw cucumber and peppers and broccoli!

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Yep...no nuts!!

I'm not sure if he'd eat cold stews but it's something I could look at trying ;) I'm currently getting round it with mini sausages, meat sliced to look like packaged deli meat and my own scotch eggs.

I'm going to try salmon fish cakes this week I think

Luckily he likes fruit and veg and is happy with raw cucumber and peppers and broccoli!

I'm racking my brains for you over here, haha. I know its already been suggested, but jerky might be a good option. Also there are a few whole30 compliant brands of chorizo and snacking sausage floating around too. I can't believe even cold chicken drumsticks aren't allowed - they would be packed lunch saviours! Another thought I just had would be chia pudding - its not the highest protein content but it still has a little bit in there! 

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Oh and I tried omelettes as "bread" last week wrapped round meat and so far no complaints...so I'll carry on doing that. I think if I can make it look as close as possible to a "normal" sandwich based lunchbox it makes them happy!

A friend who lives not far away sends her son with leftover curries and rice and pasta and all sorts so it's not every school by a long shot.

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