View Poll Results: Bringing lunch from home for a 6th grader
Get a plain lunchbox and an ice pack 17 73.91%
Just brown bag it, he can throw it all away 6 26.09%
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Holy lunch spending Batman!

DSS just started back at public school Thursday. I funded his lunch account with $25, since I don't know how long it will be to hear back on our free/reduced lunch application. I figured the $25 should get him at least a couple of weeks worth of lunches. The meals are $2. This year the district has things set up so you can check balances and everything online. So I checked in today, just out of curiousity about how things were looking, and I see that there's a balance of $16.70. He's been in school for 2 days, and he's spent $8.30. To me, that's a LOT! He knows that we are trying to focus on not overeating (he has a very low activity level and tends to overeat). Thursday, he buys his meal, a 16oz milk, a large muffin, and two large cookies. Friday, his meal, an Izze (which I don't think will happen again because he didn't like it), and ice cream. Coming to almost $9 in two days! If he was a lot more active and the sweets were once in a while - no biggie. But school's just started and I KNOW his activity level has not jumped all that much yet. He's going the right way for taking his lunch every day. DH is fully on board, as he doesn't feel like the food options are very healthy. We can handle $2-3 lunch charges every day if we don't get the free/reduced lunches; we can't do $4+ every day.

So what would you do for a 6th grader? A simple low-profile lunchbox, or brown bag it?

He'll have gym right before lunch (again, if it was later in the year and he was being way more active just before lunch, I could accept him having more than just the meal and a drink) and the gym is right by the cafeteria. Both are on the opposite side of the school from his locker, so he'd need to carry his lunch to the locker room.

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Old 08-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

Wow I can't believe the crappy food they allow a 6th grader to choose as a meal.
Can't his account be set up for the set meal only instead of the cafeteria style pay for eat item separately?
I'd go and find a cheap box and ice block and pack a sandwich and fruit and container of juice or water.
Edited to add,Ds is in 11th grade and I give him $15 a week for food, but he chooses to take a sandwich and keep the money, he makes a couple of sandwiches (usually cream cheese) and freezes it the night before, it's wrapped well and then it's defrosted by lunchtime he doesn't like a lunch box.
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Last edited by MCR; 08-14-2010 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

Wow! My mom and dad tell my siblings they can eat school lunch 1-2 times a week each, since the choices are never healthy enough and to get enough to fill them they are paying $4 or more a day. They carry a grown up looking lunch box each, and my mom packs them a healthy meal. For dessert my siblings and kids love frozen pudding cups and frozen yogurt cups. LOL! You freeze them then by the time lunch comes they are partially thawed. They are really tasty and not even half the calories and etc. of ice cream. I definitely recommend saying "hot lunch once or twice a week, but the rest tell me what you want packed"

Then again I even tell my kids they can have school lunch one time a week (2 times if really good choices that week), cuz I feel my lunches that I pack are 10 times better.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
Wow I can't believe the crappy food they allow a 6th grader to choose as a meal.
It's been worse. When he was in public before, either K or 1st grade, don't remember when it happened.. he came home one day and DH asked him what he had for lunch. Of the two lunch options, he chose the 'pretzel sticks and cheese' option for lunch. WTH?? That qualifies as a healthy lunch option?!

I think there's also a good chance that DSS was absolutely clueless about the cost of these things. He's usually pretty good about money - we talk a lot about what good prices are for various things. I think when he comes back from visitation tomorrow night I'm going to sit him down & go over the transaction history with him.

On the other hand, he also doesn't have hardly any self-control. As long as there is money in the account, I don't feel like he would respect what he's being told if we say he can only eat school lunch a certain number of times a week. Even if he's bringing his lunch - I know if there's money in the account, that's where he will be choosing to eat. Sooo.... I don't expect to fund the account after this runs out.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

doesn't surprise me at all. i was given $$ when i was in highschool and the same junk was available. hmm, that'd explain why i became really overweight

anywhoo...

this thread some mamas are talking about bento boxes. its a great idea! i do it for DH. you can always make the food...use variety, make it yummy and healthy. plus its waaaaay cheap AND green
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

I was kind of thinking I might try that direction, at least a few times. Maybe make it a little more special than a pbj thrown together and smooshed in the backpack
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

I'd put him on a $2/day budget. I don't think 6th grade is too early at all to start talking about budgeting.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

At target they have container for sandwichs and snacks that have a built in ice pack so that food can be kept cold. I got a couple of these for DD. I also picked up a thermos for her so that I can stick hot food in it for her. Supposedly, it keeps food warm for up to 5 hours.

I thought about letting her just brown bag it but I think that really limits what you can pack and typically lunch winds up getting all smooshed. Getting a plain lunch box/bag gives the opportunity to be a little more creative with the options.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:34 PM   #9
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

Please get a lunch box; the less waste, the better. I also cannot believe the junk that's available to kids at your school, .
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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Re: Holy lunch spending Batman!

I got a 6-can cooler and two small Rubbermaid containers. We can see the lunch menus ahead of time, so I think I might let him look over the options for the week and pick the day he most wants to eat at school. Then I can figure out some easy options to throw together on the other days.
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