Should packed lunches be banned in schools?


15th November 2019

SCHOOLS should ban packed lunches and give pupils two free vegetarian meals every week, says Bake Off judge Prue Leith.

Government research has found that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that apply to school food, but lots of kids still take packed lunches because they don’t like school dinners. However, Leith blames parents.

“The problem with fussy eaters is parents who do not encourage them to try new things,” Leith told the Sunday Times.

Leith is patron of a charity called Chefs in Schools, which aims to improve school menus and food education. The head of the charity  says that they prefer to encourage more pupils to have hot school meals because this allows schools to invest more money in better ingredients and training for kitchen staff.

“Rather than an outright ban, we want to phase out packed lunches in schools we work with, over time, once parents have confidence in the chef,” Naomi Duncan told us. “The most effective way to crack fussy eating is to give children space and time to try new things, and educate them as to why and how what they eat is important.”

Should packed lunches be banned in schools?


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teamgorbo1 · 2 years ago

No I don't think that packed lunches should be banned because you can't take choice away from everything. Also, not everyone can afford school dinners. In my experience at secondary school they still offer pizza, popcorn and waffles as break time snacks. With cakes and slushies for desserts at lunchtime. Banning packed lunches could actually stop people eating healthy food.

mahooha123 · 2 years ago

NO!!! Because I love my packed lunch! A lot of other people in my school would benefit from this but I don't think I would. My packed lunch isn't perfect but it is pretty good and probably healthier than a school meal in the long-term. The amount of school meal I would get wouldn't be enough for me and I -and many others- would just eat the one thing I really like every day anyway, which ,personally, would be worse than my varied packed lunch.

tigrrlover · 2 years ago

I was a picky eater as a child, and I hated school dinners. I grew out of it, and now I love food, but I would never have eaten what was given to me. I think that packed lunches shouldn't be banned for children who were like me - and that there should be healthier and wrapper-free snack and lunch choices, and nutritional information for parents for what to buy and in what proportions. But ultimately, I agree that it would be easier to make all children have healthy school dinners, but only if the food tastes good!

bigbouille · 2 years ago

Some children don't like or even want to try school lunches so will just end up not eating and wasting food if they don't have an option from home that they are more familiar with or prefer.

birthdayca · 2 years ago

I think if packed lunches are banned, then children will go hungry at school because if they have allergies, if they cant eat any option, what do they do? Children should be aware of their own choices in food.

loz73 · 2 years ago

I agree with Prue because if kids are encouraged to try new things by their parents then they will grow to become a lit less fussy but I don't think that schools should ban packed lunches because some kids need certain good for medical or religious reasons.

yanisk · 2 years ago

I think they should be used less, as it would be better for students health in the long term. It would probably also reduce plastic as packed lunch items are often wrapped in plastic.

emeve · 2 years ago

No because some people have it due to to dietry needs like gluten-free/have allergies (which is hard to get at schools who on a budget or have diabetes and often schools don't have the amounts of carbs.

anju-fnews · 2 years ago

Some parent/carers cannot afford to pay for three meals a week. It is really harsh banning packed lunches. There should definitely be another solution to this problem but this is not the best one and also, some kids don't like school dinners, like me!

anju-fnews · 2 years ago

First to comment

spacegirlg · 2 years ago

No but we still need to have the nutritional standards but pack lunches shouldn’t be banned. We should instead be encouraged to take a healthy pack lunch, but that isn’t what schools are doing.
We are not encouraged to eat healthily, THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

(First comment)

candyflos · 2 years ago

I think pack lunch boxes shouldn’t be banned because if you have an allergy you might not be able to eat school food because they may contain traces

mahooha123 · 2 years ago

My parents always encourage me to try new things.

Esiotrot2 · 2 years ago

I think this is a bad idea because in my school the food is quite unhealthy and its not very nice. Instead of banning packed lunches, I think a better idea would be to encourage parents and kids to pack healthier options.

awhitebus · 2 years ago

Packed lunches should not be banned because kids may not like the school meals on that day.

awhitebus · 2 years ago

First to comment

bob007 · 2 years ago

I have 3 main points, 1 of which is, if you have an allergy, what's the school going to do? They would have to make a separate meal every day which costs time and money. My 2nd point is, if the child doesn't like the food, they may under eat and therefore under perform at school. However, in a lunch box you have the element of choice. My last concern is the mass produced aspect of it. We all know that mass produced food is, in general, not as good as fresh food, so what exception can schools make?

redwolfx · 2 years ago


abinews · 2 years ago

Definitely not. What happens if someone has lots of serious allergies and can't eat over half the food. Will the y be expected to go hungry all afternoon? And what if you're a very fussy eater? It' s all very well for adults to tell us to try stuff, and sometimes it does work. But what if you like nothing that's on offer that day? Are you again expected to go hungry? And what if we just like packed lunches from time to time? Packed lunches don't have to be unhealthy. Far from it.
I say keep Packed Lunches!

sammyboy · 2 years ago

what happens if they do not like it or elergic

v_venkie · 2 years ago

I say we should not ban packed lunches because there are some people who are allergic to some of the foods and also, it is the childrens' choice whether they want packed lunch or school meals.

matok · 2 years ago

I love packed lunches especially my mums burgers but the school lunches are nutritious nice and yummy.

hagrid · 2 years ago

First to comment

hagrid · 2 years ago

I think that packed lunches should not be banned because my school's canteen is incredibly expensive. I like the food from my school canteen but I switched to packed lunch because of cost.

mktc.07 · 2 years ago

No, I don't think it would be fair for children with allergy's or dietary requirement or parents. In my opinion i think being clear on what is/isn't allowed in the packed lunch would be a way of increasing healthiness in packed lunch.

bookworma · 2 years ago

hummm... first to comment, i think

bookworma · 2 years ago

Packed lunches should not be banned because some people have allergies so cannot have school dinners and some other people bring healthy things to school. Even so, it is a good idea to have vegetarian meals but pupils shouldn't be forced.

will1806 · 2 years ago

I disagree with banning pack lunches because it's them and their parents choice if they don't have the right portion of healthy food. Everyone has a right to choose between hot dinners and pack lunches but they do have a responsibility by have the right balance of food.theese people who wrote this might be healthy and explore new foods but others don' can't force anyone to do any thing they don't want to do but that's just my personal opinion but if you want to do it near your area that's absolutely fine it doesn't bother me.

noplanetb · 2 years ago

No, because allergies are increasing and some may be allergic to these meals, for example in a secondary school. Also school dinners can be a bit of money and that might not be affordable for some students leaving them with no lunch.

noplanetb · 2 years ago

No, allergies and money are problems here and it can either lead to someone have a reaction or not being able to have any lunch!

5honypony · 2 years ago

Yes, I think packed lunches should be banned. They can cause allergic reactions, such as gluten and dairy allergies. Also, children need to learn to try new foods.

kingdino1 · 2 years ago

I HATE PACKED LUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

otisbing · 2 years ago

In my school, people loathe school dinners . If someone banned packed lunch people would protest, bunk off school and start not enjoying school.

otisbing · 2 years ago

But also , school dinners are some times free in KS1 and if parents have too go to shops saying my child wants this , my child wants that, it could waste money for things that are important like your house. It wouldn’t hurt to have school dinners. And for those people who are living in poverty it could be their only meal in the day.

otisbing · 2 years ago

2 isn’t enough ! Schools make us eat meat. If I did not go to school I would be a vegetarian.

oceangirl · 2 years ago

I think in yr5 and 6 packed lunches should be banned, and at Christmas in yr4 they should have taste it sessions where children try a bit of school dinners , I think that would be a good idea

ameliau · 2 years ago

Prue Leith is out of her mind because if a child has a rare desease they may not have a meal which suits them.

brh_21 · 2 years ago

the school dinners at my school are yuck

megs1 · 2 years ago

No they shouldn't be banned, what if you have an allergy's or didn't like the food on offer. you will be hungry all day!

izzie99 · 2 years ago

I have a pack lunch and it is not because I am a fussy eater. Lots of people have pack lunches because maybe they have allergies or they have a certain type of food that their parents make for them and I don’t like school pasta so my mum makes me her pasta which I enjoy a lot more.

pizza80 · 2 years ago

School dinners at my high school are really unhealthy

puppy2143 · 2 years ago

NO!!!!!! my lunches should be pack lunches also the food is better...

sandwichbo · 2 years ago

No because my school dinners there is cake for pudding everyday. They also have little nutrition or vitamins.

greenjet · 2 years ago

Packed lunches should not be banned- children should have in their lunch some healthy things and treats- they should choose and make wise decisions to help them for the future

dazzy · 2 years ago

No, packed lunches shouldn't be banned in all schools. Kids ought to have a choice about what they eat, and school dinners are often unhealthier than some packed lunches. For example, for dessert my school sometimes has jam sponge pudding whereas my packed lunches always contain a yoghurt and some fruit for sweet instead.

lollipop33 · 2 years ago

No, I don't think so. I am in KS3 now. I have 3 reasons to keep packed lunches.

1) As I mentioned, I am in KS3 and in secondary school especially, there are many lunchtime clubs. In my canteen, there are 15 minute queues for lunch and if packed lunches were banned this could increase to 25 minutes. If people had to queueforthis long and take 10-15 minutes to eat they couldn't go to lunchtime clubs.

2) If parents are making unhealthy packed lunches, that's their fault. Not the kids'.

3) Some children are vegetarian/vegan/have allergies or intolerances to certain foods/cannot eat certain meats due to their religion. Often, school canteens' versions of food fulfilling the requirements doesn't taste nice.

pawsomecat · 2 years ago

I strongly believe that packed lunches must stay because sometimes children may not like the meals on that day.

ponygirl08 · 2 years ago

NO! I believe its a choice. Some children have different approaches towards school meals, and also banning packed lunches may increase the value of school allergic reactions. And some children have different taste in foods.

Stella · 2 years ago

At our school we don't have breaktime snacks. which i find heavily unfair as other schools get those snacks such as waffles and bagels in my old primary school we used to have snacks such as what teamgorbo said.

ijm · 2 years ago

I don't think it would help because some people are allergic to food or have dietary requirements (like me) and it would be unfortunate if you could not eat the meal as you would be hungry. It may be expensive for the school and the pupils. Also, packed lunches can actually be healthier than school dinners. My packed lunch is always full of fruit and vegetables and the school dinners menu always has ice cream, biscuits and pies. I think we should have a healthier menu for both packed lunches and school dinners.

mob789 · 2 years ago

Definitely not!!! 😱😡 We need packed lunches because school dinners are really small compared to a lunch box moth 2 small things!!

sciencycat · 2 years ago

No, I don't think they should ban packed lunches. Many people have serious allergies and can't have a lot of their school dinner. In the afternoon they probably wouldn't be able to concentrate as well as they usually would do.

grookster · 2 years ago

Instead of banning lunch boxes make school dinners nicer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

guest_360 · 2 years ago

If you force a child to order a school dinner, they will probably not eat it and waste the food and spend the rest of the day hungry. It’s the complete opposite of saying ‘ killing 2 birds with 1 stone’ because from banning packed lunches, you are making kids go hungry and wasting good food

bamboomilk · 2 years ago

No way! Some parents might not be able to afford to get school dinners for their kid every day and in packed lunch you can have anything you like so, ya. :)

wireskid · 2 years ago

No, if someone has an allergy and the cooks don't know that they are having a school dinner that day and the only thing that they like on the menu contains what they are allergic to? Do they have a horrible lunch not eat much of it and starve during lessons, have a reaction, or just enjoy their lunch with food they like and not have an allergic reaction? THEY HAVE PACKED LUNCH!!!

piggyo5 · 2 years ago

I'm not allowed pack lunches at my school but I like them because sometimes children don't like school luches (me). If I got the choice to have school lunches or packed lunches, I would definately chose packed because you get a choice, at school you don't.

unicorn36 · 2 years ago

Honestly, banning packed lunches would not help at all

unicorn36 · 2 years ago

I have a packed lunch because our school meals are unhealthy and my parents encourage me to eat healthy

lindawalla · 2 years ago

I decided to vote YES because I read the article and realised that since only 1% of packed luches are as nutritious as school dinners. I also already know that having only a sandwich pretty much everyday is very unhealthy and also in my opinion the school dinner desserts are WAY nicer but also healthier than a lot of treats you would have in your packed lunch. I hope you've learnt a lot from my comment and in the future might think twice about asking your parents (or guardian) to switch from school dinners to packed lunches!

celtic10 · 2 years ago

No but packed lunches should be healthy

abolton · 1 year ago

The children could bring in unhealthy food

katkid10 · 1 year ago

Some people can't afford school dinners, so Packed Lunches shouldn't be banned from schools plus our school cafeteria is too small for everyone to have Hot dinners, we can just about manage as it is!!

crystalx27 · 1 year ago

I voted no because I attend a lot of clubs, some of which require me to meet up at lunchtime and the school dinner queues are just the longest! So having a packed lunch on some days is really convenient for me and my friends too.

katkid10 · 1 year ago

If people are vegan then what would they do if Packed lunches are not allowed anymore?

superpug27 · 1 year ago

This is a very split issue because in one hand you could have less fortunate children who can’t get their parents to buy nutritious food for them but on the other hand there are children who sometimes miss lunch and can’t get any food because the canteen has closed for lunch. I saw some people saying that they have clubs during lunch and when they get to the dining hall near the end of lunch, it’s closed. Considering these two things, I voted no because although they don’t have nutritious lunches, they can still get fruit and veg from the school lunch and not their own. Just because some children don’t have healthy lunches, doesn’t mean we have to ruin lunches for other people.

spagletti · 1 year ago

Instead, schools should send letters to parents about balanced diets- and also, having two vegetarian meals a week would be bad for children’s health.

freya2909 · 1 year ago

NOOOOO!!!!! I will use an example
I don't like the spaghetti carbanara they do at school and the vegetarian option is with NO HAM 🍖 so it's terrible
I would have no other option so NO

piggy9876 · 10 months ago

I am not a packed lunch eater, however I think that some people might need packed lunches for special reasons and that way I do not think packed lunches should be band. On the other hand, it may be rather true some packed lunches are bad. So I think a bit of both would be good.😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

luigi55 · 8 months ago

no cause that means you get to have whatever you want. HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!