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Really Upset with DS

April 14th, 2011 at 11:38 am

DS used to eat hot lunch and he used to eat breakfast at the school. $1.00 for breakfast and $1.50 for lunch. Well he started burning through his food money because he was going for seconds at breakfast.

The problem I have is that for $1.00 he is getting one 4oz juice and a slice of toast. He does not take and eat the cereal and milk because of his allergies. If he is still hungry he would go back for seconds, an additional slice of toast is $.75 and an additional juice is $.40.

Some mornings he was spending $2.90 because he would buy 3 pieces of cinamin sugared toast and two juices. Really, for that daily cost I can buy a whole loaf of bread and a gallon of juice. Thus feeding him for a week or more.

So fast forward to the first time I figured out what was happening to his money, I told him he was no longer allowed to eat breakfast at school. He had to eat breakfast at home.

He was still periodically eatting breakfast because He was burning thorough his lunch money fast, so I told DS he was no longer allowed to eat hot lunch. I would give him lunch money BUT I would tell him when he could eat hot lunch.

Well about a month ago I gave DS a check because he was out of lunch money. Embarrassment( At the time I was sure again that money was disapearing faster than it should, but I was not 100% sure. So I told him I was going to track the lunches.

I gave him enough money to pay the Debt he had on his account and enough money for 10 lunches. The reason I like him to have money at school is because if I am sick or life is crazy and I don't have time to make his lunch then he can have hot.

I made a chart and wrote down every day he ate hot lunch. Yesterday I get a call from my son at school. They have to call home before they are allowed to eat IF they do not have enough lunch money to pay in full. The message was on my cell phone because my phone died and I need to charge it. Anyway right before I go to pick him up from daycare I hear the message and I am fit to be tied. He had only eaten lunch 4 times since I gave him lunch money, so somehow his account got shorted $9.00.

Well guess what, DS told me why he was short. He has been eating breakfast AGAIN at school. He does not eat breakfast at home (says he is not hungry). I was not going to force him to eat, because I want him to have a healthy relationship with food... but in truth he does not want to stop playing to eat. So starting today I am going to make his breakfast and he is not going to have the option NOT to eat breakfast or tell me he is not hungry.

I have decided that I am not refilling his lunch account. I am done.

He has three lunch boxes (sometimes the school does not return them until the next day). I also have two more somewhere in the house, I will be locating them. I will prep all five bags with everything except the sandwich so that all that needs to be made is the sandwich and then I have NO reason for having him eat hot lunch.

He lunch is normally a capri sun "roaring water", a snack bag of gold fish crackers, a cup of applesauce or cup of fruit, a apple or orange and the sandwich. So really the lunches can be prepped ahead of time and all that needs to be added is the sandwich.

Not sure what else I can do about this. I really dislike the schools food system. What happened to the punch cards or the lunch tickets I had in elementary and high school? In my town, the school issues all the students a 7 digit number, when they eat lunch they type this number in twice.

How do you teach your child healthy spending when they are just punching a number into a machine.
I have told my son that every time he punches his number into that machine that is more money spent. But he does not get it.

The school does not post any food costs and it does not post that seconds cost MORE than the first go round. My co-worker had to bann his oldest from hot lunch because she would use her account to pay for her friends lunchs. She started taking leftovers to school, but instead of bringing the containers home she would throw them away. He did not realize she was tossing the dishes until he could not find any storage containers....He had tupperware, So in the end it was still expensive for him.

After I heard of this I stopped sending dishes with my son, instead the sandwich went in a sandwich bag. I was using containers so the sandwich would not get crushed and because it was cheaper to use dishes I already had then to buy sandwich bags BUT I guess I can see the above example playing out in my life if I don't take proactive measures.

Kids, Kids, Kids...How do you teach them finances when the world is set up as a charge, no cash system?

5 Responses to “Really Upset with DS”

  1. Jaon.of.the.Arch Says:

    Could you make up a week's worth of sandwiches on the weekend and put them in the freezer?

  2. North Georgia Gal Says:

    I think making up the lunches in advance is a good idea.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Sounds frustrating, but you've tried everything else and the solution you've come up with seems like the best one possible. Good luck!

  4. mamasita Says:

    I'm not sure how old your son is, at my daughters elementary school you can put money in lunch account and "snack" account, where any extras would come from. You might also try contacting the school and asking them not to allow seconds. If the school is unwilling or unable to do that, tell your son that if he wants "seconds" they come out of his allowance. Encourage him to pack his own breakfast so he can both fill up and save his money.

  5. Jerry Says:

    I think you have made a good decision, because he needs to learn the responsibility now. Sometimes a kid needs to be a little hungry to learn that actions lead to consequences, and that is the best insurance to teach that concept. Good luck! That must be frustrating...

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