Monday, 26 November 2012

Parents in school- Chester, UK

Dear VEG

We think your blog is great. School meals have still got a long way to go and you have done so much to keep them on the agenda, as well as doing so much for Mary’s Meals of course. I am a Mum of two daughters, 10 and 13, and I have been very impressed with your writing. It is always accurate, engaging, appropriate and thoughtful. Many adults could not write as well as you do.

I am sending you a picture of MY lunch today. My daughter’s high school has a week when parents and grandparents can come to school and have lunch with their daughter/granddaughter. It’s a great idea because not only do I get a little peek into her world but I get to see what is really available in the dining room.

Sorry it’s not a great picture, I was trying to take it without being noticed. I chose a sub (bread roll) because that was what my daughter was having. There were also hot meals, sandwiches and a counter where you can choose from different fillings and breads. For pudding there are fruits, yoghurts, a hot pudding and tray bakes. You pay per item so it is up to you what you have and how much you pay. It amuses my daughter that the pupils pay less than the teachers because they do not have to pay VAT.

I chose a spicy bean burger sub with chilli sauce and cheese. Salad was included which I thought was good. For pudding I had shortbread.

The food all looked nice and was hot. My bean burger was tasty, but not spicy, and the shortbread was just right, crispy outside and soft inside. I bought a bottle of fizzy water for an extra 80p but then found out there was a water dispenser. I didn’t like not having a plate but the subs come in a clever envelop that opens out to eat from. It was hard to see everything that was available and make choices quickly in a busy environment. I would have liked to see more brown bread, more vegetables, nicer fruit and more salads but my daughter tells me that sadly they would not sell.

I think all schools should invite parents in to their dining rooms every now and again.

Food-o-meter- 7/10
Mouthfuls- too busy talking to count
Courses- main/dessert
Health Rating- 5/10
Price- £2.58 (not including the bottle of water)
Pieces of hair- 0

Keep up the great work
Fiona (Chester)


  1. Yes, indeed, Fiona, more schools should invite parents to eat with their children! Everyone will get a truer view of what really happens at lunch, for instance how little time there is to select food and eat it. Thank you for sharing your hidden picture!

    Best regards,
    Santa Barbara, CA

  2. I have not seen a sandwich like this. Is it smashed beans [refried beans in US] made into a patty and the breaded and fried? Im my family we have a saying "Making something of nothing". It means to take something super cheap [no meat] and make a meal out of it. Poor people will know what I mean. Fried beans definitely qualifies. Next they will breading and frying potato slices and calling it a hamburger.

  3. What a tasty sandwich! It dosen't seem to much healty but I like it!

  4. Our girls school have days like this for parents or grandparents to have lunch with their child. After attending the first one I decided never to allow my girls to stay 'hot dinners', I don't mind as an occassional treat, but I was so appauled that I'd rather make 3 packed lunches every day than allow them to eat the rubbish that was being served.

  5. Ummm regarding the parents/grandparents day, i suspect that on that day you wouldn't actually see a true picture of the meals your children get.

  6. I suspect that you wouldn't get a true picture on an invitation day. Call me a cynic if you like.