The rushed school lunch

Can I just talk about school lunches one more time?

Seriously, planning a lunch for my kid took up way too much of my very sparse amount of energy lately, because several things have come to surface in the last two days of school that make the points of WHAT to pack for my first grader’s lunch MOOT:

1. He doesn’t have enough time to eat lunch

Why is this? I know their lunch room is tiny and they are packed in there like sardines, but lunch is an hour. Do they get kicked out after x minutes? Or does he feel like he has to leave when everyone else is done even if he is not? Why is more than half his lunch and sometimes his snacks coming back home? Does he have access to his lunch bag with his snacks at recess? He is awefully pale and tired looking by 3:35 pm when I pick him up…no wonder considering he hasn’t eaten more than half his sandwich and a few cucumber slices.

2. They ran out of snacks

Snacks are provided by the school and we have to pay for them. When he got his crackers and went to get his share of the grapes they were gone already. My question to him why he didn’t get the grapes at the same time as the crackers were met with shrugging of the shoulders. Did he have to choose one or the other? No, he can have both. Why didn’t he get both? The other kids ate the grapes. Why isn’t this controlled by the teacher or snack volunteer? He doesn’t know. Why didn’t you go to your locker to get your grapes I packed for your lunch? Shrug…Needless to say I’m concerned.

3. There is no time to take a snack to recess. Or, they are not allowed to take snacks to recess.

What? If you feel tired and have a headache you will ask for permission to go get a snack out of your locker. No teacher will deny you access to a packed snack. If they do, you tell me and I will speak to the school and ensure that you are allowed access to your snack. Is it possible he simply thinks he’s not allowed because the other kids just run out? He’s in a split grade 1/2 class, maybe the older kids are leading the example and he doesn’t know that he has rights and doesn’t have to conform? I do not know.

4. This rushing at lunch to finish up seems to me like a preparation for the adult work world.

Kids who eat a little slower should be allowed to do so. It’s better for digestion, it’s better for your mental stamina. I mean really…they push nutrition and exercise on you from every which way but when it comes time to eat they’re supposed to eat quickly and get out? Perhaps I am misunderstanding here, or perhaps my child is confused, but I certainly will be bringing this up at the next opportunity.

All of these questions just about food at school are making me feel absolutely exhausted, worried and just a touch exasperated.

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