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I’m at my wits end with my son not eating his lunch at school! He leaves it in his bag or hides it down in his room and then I find it days or weeks later all mouldy and rotten! I don’t understand how he can not get hungry all day as he is a very sporty active kid and then as soon as I get him in the car when I pick him up he says he is starving?! I tell him if he ate during the day he wouldn’t be so hungry after school. I would love to know if other mums have this problem as it is starting to concern me for his health and I’ve even considered speaking to his school teacher &/or principle about it!
What can I do to get him to eat lunch?


Posted by Kelz81, 2nd March 2015


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  • My 11 and 12 year old often come home with part of their lunch still in their boxes. As soon they come home they get their lunchbox out of their bag now and start eating. They like the food but feel they have no time / not enough time to eat. I don’t mind, as long they get enough nutritious food over the full day. I make sure they get plenty of variation in their lunchboxes and make them every day a different lunch. I often add a cool element to keep things fresh. We don’t do lunch orders as we don’t have enough money for that.


  • Have him make his own lunch, this often means he will enjoy it and appreciate that it takes time.


  • I was the same at school.
    Never ate lunch because I was to busy playing!
    Then after school I would be starving & Mum would say the exact same thing to me haha.
    Eventually she made me a deal, if I ate my lunch everyday as a reward on the Friday I could get a lunch order.
    & it worked!
    Without fail I always ate my lunch because I wanted that hot lunch bought me to so badly.
    Sandwiches don’t always taste the best when they’ve been sitting all day, especially in summer. Look into buying a cooler bag for his lunch box, it helps keep the bread fresh.
    Also ask him what he might like for lunch. My favourite was always Monday lunch because it was the left over meat from Sunday Roast :)
    Best of luck!


  • Honestly babe, my son never did either – too busy playing! I decided to give him lunch orders every day, and he ate a little…. Hey, my son is now 6’4″ – some kids are just too busy. I adapted to him being starving at dusk – as when he got home, he just wanted to ride his bike and play outside… He ate tea earlier than the rest of the family… it worked for us. Parenting is not an exact science. Do what works for you x


  • My kids did the same thing. They didn’t starve. When he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat. Talk to him about it, ask why he’s not eating and go from there


  • I don’t really chat with many of the mums as i was a working mum for the first few years my son was at school so i hardly saw any of the other mums! I will sit him down and get him to write a list of what food he wants me to buy for his lunch and we will go from there!


  • Are you and the other school Mum s friendly? Maybe ask them if their children eat luch that it packed at home. Mind you some of them may be tossing their lunch in the rubbish bin. If our school age one still has her fruit in her lunch box that is her after school snack, especially if she start whining about being humgry. She is given a choice what she has in her sandwiches and what fruit she has provided there is choices available. She is given a bottle of cold water every day, and sometimes yoghurt as a recess snack. Her lunch box goes in an insulated bag which has divisions in it to keep her food cold. You can now get lunch boxes with lids that you can freeze. My Grandpa wrapped his lunchbox in newspaper to keep it cold because he worked in a mechanical workshop nd did the same with his drink bottle.


  • Thanks for the good advice… I will try to stop worrying about it as much! And yes if he is hungry after school he can eat what he didn’t at school!! :-)


  • the simplest answer I know is don’t sweat it he may just be so busy he doesn’t slow down to think about being hungry during the day.
    it happens to me all the time.
    after school when he says he is hungry ask him for his lunch and give that to him to eat, he still eats his lunch, you don’t have mouldy food to find, it shouldn’t cause a big fight.
    hope this helps.


  • Most of his friends actually take their lunch most days but i’m obviously not sure if they do or don’t eat it. We do give money to our son a couple of times a week to use at the canteen but i don’t believe in letting him do that everyday. I always ate all my lunch my mum made for me, couldn’t wait to sit down at lunch time and see what she packed me each day! I’m hoping it doesn’t get worse when he goes into year 7 next year!


  • I never ate my lunch at school either didn’t like the warm sandwiches. So maybe try an ice block. My daughter hates taking her lunch. We give her some money for the canteen its hard because would sooner her take lunch but if shes not going to eat it we need her to be able to buy something to eat.


  • yeah maybe he is embarrassed to take a lunch when “all his friend use the canteen”. you can point out that he is lucky that his mum wants him to eat well instead of just having the same boring hot chips from the canteen everyday. Maybe compromise with him that he can eat a packed lunch everyday but fridays is canteen day


  • Ive tried all of that… I take him grocery shopping and let him choose things he likes and he still leaves it uneaten or just doesn’t take it at all! I can’t afford to let him buy food from the school canteen everyday!


  • ask him if he could have anything what would he want and see if you can provide that. also if you have a tuck shop perhaps he could order something from here which may appeal to him.


  • Thanks… He never takes a sandwich unless i force him and he doesn’t eat it 95% of the time even when i buy his favourite filling, chicken, lettuce & mayo! He will take chips and chocolate and things like that but sometimes doesn’t even eat that stuff! He will happily spend money at the canteen though


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