What's selling at the canteen
On top of daily packed food, we gave HQ a daily pocket money of RM 2 per day. On his first day of school, since we have 30 minutes to kill before his 15 minutes Di Zi Gui briefing at 12.45pm, we went to the canteen to explore. I wanted to see how's the pricing like and to point out to HQ the food that's good to buy for break.
Horror of all horrors!
The school canteen sells all kinds of junk! It's like a junk heaven for kids! All kinds of gassy drinks, sweets, and packet junk food available! Fried burger meat, fried sausages, fried nuggets, instant noodles in plain watery soup, fried instant noodles.
I nearly fainted.
I couldn't believe a school canteen is allowed to sell these kind of food :-(.
So before school even started on his first day of school, HQ spent all his pocket money, on a bottle of Solivite and 3 pieces of nuggets.
Of course there are good food as well like fried rice, porridge, mixed rice, vegetarian mixed rice, and fried chicken rice, but HQ said he will not buy those because he's afraid he may not be able to finish up within the given time. Sigh...
At first, I did doubt that his daily allowance of RM 2 might not be enough. Food is expensive.
A small packet of french fries is sold at RM 1. Solivite/ Vitagen/ Nutrtigen is sold at RM 1 per bottle. Plain porridge/ plain noodles in soup (including instant noodles)/ fried plain noodles/ fried rice with egg are priced at RM 1 per bowl. Added with 4 pieces of fried fu chok costs RM 1.60 per bowl. Bigger portion at RM 2 each. Chicken rice with 1/2 piece of fried chicken at RM 2 per plate. RM 3 for chicken rice with whole piece of fried chicken. (I really feel very "housewifey" now :-S).
On the first day, he finished his food super fast. This, I believe was purely due to hunger.
However, on the second day of school, I made sure he left for school in a full stomach. During reccess, he ate super quick too. This time however, I noticed is because he wanted to have a chance to buy canteen food to eat o.O". On top of his packed cream bread, he bought a packet of french fries and a bottle of Solivite.
To encourage HQ to eat more of my packed food and less bought food (canteen food), I packed more food into his tupperware. I tried to put in more variety of his favourite food, and instead of unpacking food from their original packing, I included the packaging. I'm sure he will take more time fumbling with the packaging, but I made sure to let him know that I've already cut one end of the packaging so that he can access to the food.
Some pictures of his packed food for school:
1st: chicken floss bread, rice biscuits, seaweed sachets, mini tangerine. 2nd: peanut butter & grape jelly shaped sandwiches, mini tangerine, seaweed sachets, multi-grain snack.3rd: peanut butter sandwiched biscuits, seaweed crackers 4th: "ma lai kou", caramelized walnuts, haw flakes as snack5th: waffle, rice and barley crackers, multi-grain snack, seaweed sachet (he only ate the seaweed and multi-grain snack :-( )6th: Gardenia waffle, sunflower and sesame seeds snack, haw flakesSure enough, he told me he could not finish up the packed food in time. Therefore, no more time to buy food from the canteen :-D.
However, my plan only worked for 2 days :-(. On the 3rd day, he started to eat his packed food in Popo's house before he left for school. Thus eating less lunch that Popo prepared, and getting the chance to buy canteen food during break :-(
Hubby started a system to encourage him to save money. If HQ does not use his RM 2 allowance for a day, he'll receive another RM 2. He can put this RM 4 into his piggy bank. If he manages to bring home RM 1 for that day, he will get another RM 0.50.
Once his piggy bank is full, he can keep half of the saved money in the bank. He is allowed to buy anything with the other half. Everyday he gets a new RM 2 disregarding how much he save the previous day.
He told us he thinks that saving RM 2 per day is more worth it :-).
How did he flare?
At first he was very excited to save the extra money in his piggie bank. We were all smiles :-D
Later he started bringing the money that he saved to school and spent it on redundant stationaries at the school bookshop *shake head*
Now, the novelty wore off, and he has started to request not to bring packed food to school, but to be given the chance to buy food from the canteen to eat :-(
Do you find the food sold in your child's school canteen acceptable?
Do you mind your kids eating food from the school canteen?
How do you encourage your kids to eat your packed food and not buy junks from the canteen?
(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for http://boeyjoey.blogspot.com/. All images and text can only be republished with permission and links back to the article/ blog.