From September 2014 all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England will be eligible for free school meals (FSMs). This will include academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision as well as maintained schools.
This has taken a huge weight off of our shoulders as a family not just financially. I struggled when P1 took a packed lunch to school. She was adamant she wanted a packed lunch and both hubby and I agreed we’d have rather her had school dinners. Packing a lunch is tricky.
I’m certainly no cute shaped sandwiches with little notes inside a bento box kind of mother. The first week I’d get her lunch ready the night before, then the same morning and then a rushed attempt 5minutes before we walked out the door. The inspiration for a packed lunch was never there for me. What would last until lunch? What would she actually eat? Would this full her up? It was stressful.
We did eventually get her to agree to school meals but at just over £2 a day it wasn’t exactly a cheap option. It was certainly the best decision though as the meal choices are amazing and it hasn’t changed now that the free school meals have been applied.
They have four options a day. The main meal, a vegetarian option, jacket potato or pasta. We always let P1 choose, she has to choose in advance so we get the whole term in one go. More often than not she chooses to have the main meal but she’s very well known to have a jacket potato, it’s her favourite meal and she’s been known to have one every day for a whole week just before the end of reception year. I couldn’t complain, it’s about the only thing she’ll completely finish and in super speedy time!!
I’m pleased that the government decided to let Key Stage 1 pupils receive a free school meal. I think it’s really going to financially help many families, it takes the stress of making sure you’re child has a varied diet and it’s super convenient.