Here children can have either school lunches (hot food served in the school cafeteria) or packed lunches. My children have school lunches but my DS used to have packed lunches and they would send his leftover/uneaten food back in his lunch box.
At my daughters school they allow them to throw out wrappers/empty packets and crusts. If it is more than the crusts then they aren't allowed to throw it out. My daughter goes packed lunch 1or 2 days of the week and usually comes home with an empty lunchbox. I have no idea if they are very strict about this, I can't see someone standing at the bin checking what kids are throwing out?
DS takes a packed lunch every day and always brings most of it home with him, apart from a few bites out of his sandwiches. I've know idea if his school stop them throwing anything uneaten away or not but I don't really bother as he's always had a good breakfast and has grapes for morning break, if he ate all of his lunch too he'd be having far to much. I still put all the bits in though as when he's coming up to a growth spurt he'll suddenly eat loads.
I threw away a lot of my lunch when I was young as I hated sandwiches! And also wasn't keen on warm fruit. It never did me any harm. My son has a hot dinner at present and is a hungry Horace so I would never worry he wasn't eating it
I live in Gibraltar, which is in the Mediterranean, and our kids bring anything they haven't eaten home with them for this reason. They are still young though, maybe it's different when they go to middle school
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