Son has always had a healthy appetite, but unlike his dad it doesn’t seem to impact on his body shape. At his last school (with less than 50 kids) lunch was very relaxed, with room to spread out and time for him to have several helpings.
At his new school meaningful intel about the practicalities of the school day has dried up. No feed back from school and a son who often wants to quickly forget about the traumas of the day. So I had no idea how lunchtime was going. I payed the school meal bill online and assumed a balanced diet was being consumed. He never complained about it so it must be ok – that’s my 479th bad parenting example, complacency. I did notice that he had a remarkable appetite on his return. Often eating me out of house and home.
This week as I paid the online meal system I noticed by chance an option to view what the menu was. Reassuringly it looked pretty good. Then I noticed another well hidden option which was tomview what he had actually selected. The selection was very enlightening…
5th Sept – Pasta Main Meal
6th Sept – Macaroni Cheese (very surprising as he hates this)
7th Sept – Flapjacks x2 (sweet granola bar)
After that every day has been Flapjacks x2 apart from 2 days which showed up as a Tuna Sandwich.
By my calculations that’s 184 Flapjacks since September. Bugger – that’s my 480th bad parenting example, must stop swearing.
So it was time to have a more in-depth fact finding chat with our Son. Apparently on the first two days only his year group was in school. It was fairly quiet and he enjoyed his pasta dish. On the second day he thought the sign said pasta meal and was a bit miffed when he found macaroni cheese on his plate. After those two quiet days school lunch has become a nightmare. Too many kids, too little space and limited time. For a main meal you have to queue up for about 20 minutes. After that you need to circle round the dining area waiting for a space to become free. A bit of a nightmare for anyone, a lot of a nightmare for someone with Aspergers. To jump the queue you can opt for either a Sandwich or Flapjack or icebun. Queue jumping it was then for our son. I was puzzled why he broke his sequence of Flapjacks heaven with two Tuna Sandwiches (especially as he doesn’t really like bread). Apparently they had sold out of Flapjacks….
I have now spoken to school but they can do little, just too many kids to feed. I suggested staggering the lunch starts but apparently this cannot be done logistically. Really!!. They will however think about some dyslexic friendly food signage.
So I’m not sure where this leaves us. Packed lunch is not an option. These have to be dropped off at another part of the school prior to the first lesson and this would just provide more school stress for him. He’s never going to queue. So it’s Flapjacks, sandwiches or go hungry. I suppose at least he is eating something- 481st bad parenting example, it’s not a healthy option. Will just have to ensure he gets a good breakfast and have plenty of food in for his return.
One last thought.
After our conversation he asked what was for tea.
Rather sheepishly I replied
“I baked a fresh batch of Flapjacks this morning”
For a different and far more astute take on the autism school lunchtime trials please read Robyn’s great post from earlier in the week.