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Lunch at Berkeley High School
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Lunch at Berkeley High School
Do you have a student at Berkeley High? What do they do for lunch? Eat
in the Cafeteria? How is the food there? Do they bring lunch? Do they
buy lunch off campus? Or a mix? If they buy off campus, do you give them
a weekly lunch allowance? If so, how much? And, any recommendations for
healthy, cheap and tasty lunch place off campus?
My sophomore daughter brings her lunch (which she makes) four days
a week, and buys her lunch once a week. I give her $6 to buy
lunch; I don't think she always spends it all. She doesn't care
for the cafeteria food.
I asked my son, who is now a sophomore at BHS, to respond to your
''Lunch at the Cafeteria is $4 and pretty good. There are a bunch
of great places around Shattuck, such as: All Star Cafe; where you
can get a healthy sandwich or some soup for $3.50 and $3.25
respectively; Arinelle Pizza, which sells a darn good slice for
around $3.25; The Original (previously Mel's) where you can get a
burger and fries for $5. Bringing a homelunch is always a viable
option. It is up to you how to spend your money, my dad usually
gives me enough money to eat off campus 1-3 times a week, although
this year we are going to apply for free school lunch.''
Re: Is it uncool to take lunch to high school?
My son is a freshman at BHS and I pack his lunch everyday and give him
money once a week. He actually likes it because he says going off
campus is a hassle and it takes a lot of time out of his lunch time to
go off campus and get lunch. A lot of his friends bring lunch too.
My daughter is a junior at BHS. She makes her lunch at home & brings
it to school most of the time. It's often leftovers or a sandwich. She
might go off campus for lunch once a week. Some of her friends bring
a lunch from home, too. No one gives her a hard time about it. I'm
sure it really depends on the circle of friends your student has & who
they hang with at lunch time. I similarly bring my lunch to work most
of the time, eating out maybe once per week. I like to model that home
lunch is healthier & far cheaper than buying all the time.
Hello - our daughter will be an incoming freshman this
fall at Berkeley High, and my husband and I are trying to
figure out a weekly food budget for her. We've learned
that the cost of lunch in the cafeteria is an affordable
$3.50 a meal, but then we were told that the cafeteria is
packed during lunch and that, by far, most kids eat off
campus. We thought it might be reasonable to have her
pack her lunch three days a week and eat with friends in
an off-campus restaurant the other two days, if the
cafeteria is overwhelming and not really an option.
Wondering what a reasonable amount of money to give her
per week is and what most kids do for lunch at BHS.
Thanks so much for your suggestions and input.
New to Berkeley High
I pack a lunch for my daughter everyday and have for the last three years at
BHS! I don't eat out everyday at lunch as it's so expensive, so why should she?
What most kids do is go to the park and eat their home packed or store
bought lunch or walk around Shattuck eating. (or eat their lunch in 2nd
period!) Lots of kids get food from the cheaper local places, like Little
Mandarin (CHEAP Chinese-yuck), Arinelle's pizza, Baja Fresh, a sandwich from
Lox, Stock and Bagel, or any other of the cheaper places downtown. The food
in the cafeteria is fine and I don't think the wait is terribly long as a lot of
kids do eat out. But I have found when my daughter pleads to buy her lunch
that $5 is fine and she goes to one of the aforementioned places. She eats at
the cafeteria when she plays a home game on one of her sports team, they
get a voucher. We tried the cafeteria prepaid card one semester, but she
really didn't like that.
One thing about leaving campus to get food is that they have trouble getting
back on-time for 4th period, especially that first year. They only have 45
minutes for lunch and it takes a few YEARS to gauge how long that is ;-)
I think they like variety and flexibility so however you can work that out
within your budget.
lifetime lunch-making mom!
$5 is enough per day, $7 if she wants something fancy. At 2
days per week that would be $10-$15. A lot of kids skip lunch.
And a lot of kids eat crap...chips and soda..cheap and
available. $20 a week in allowance would cover a couple
lunches and a little bit for the weekend.Pay for a bus/BART
pass and they're all set. Kids will ASK for more, but they
really don't NEED it.
How kids approach lunch at BHS depends upon your
expectations and those of your kid's friends--and their
parents. My daughter is very frugal and preferred to take a
bag lunch almost every day. She has a frugal dad who has
done the same for as long as I've known him. I admit that I
packed her lunch most mornings for at least the first
couple of years, but I really didn't want her to skip
lunch, which some kids do. Eventually she came to see it as
fairly pathetic that her mother made her lunch, so she
would make her sandwich the night before. Most of her
friends also brought their lunches while a few of them--
those who seemed to have mysteriously unlimited amounts of
money--made the mad dash up to Shattuck to buy lunch.
Sometimes she kept those kids company but still ate her bag
lunch. She and her friends typically ate outside in the
park; in bad weather they found a classroom to eat in. They
rarely bought the cafeteria food, claiming it was awful. My
end of the bargain was to make sure lunch fixings were
available, otherwise I would treat her to lunch. She made
the (correct) assumption that if she bought lunch she would
have to pay for it out of her own allowance. It didn't take
long to figure out that was a pretty poor use of her money.
When my girls were at BHS they brought their lunch almost
everyday and ate in the park with their friends. There are
lot of quick serve restaurants on University and Shattuck
that cater to the student lunch trade, but you have to eat
while walking back to campus or else you will be tardy -
it's an after-lunch problem. Maybe your daughter can talk to
her friends and see if they want to bring their lunch at
least during the first week. They will want to explore the
off-campus options eventually, so see how it plays out the
first few weeks, then set a budget.
Brown bag mama
I gave my 13 year old daughter $80
to spend for the month at Berkeley High. Just short of mid-
month I find out it is gone. My daughters friends all
have more spending money than she does and go out to eat a
lot. As a single mom, I dont have the money to fund such
activities for my daughter and two, buying fancy lattes in
the morning and eating out for lunch is, I think, a little
excessive. I have offered to help her budget and also to
buy foods she likes for lunches. My question is
. What do
other parents do around allowance/lunch/spending money for
their Berkeley High kids?
We are the parents of a sophomore
at BHS and have similar money issues. Last year we gave him 5$ per week for
food at school (he also got $10 weekly allowance and he can do what he
wishes with that) but no more. That allowed him to eat out with friends once
a week. Just as you plan to, we supply food for him to make his own lunches.
This year we have decided (partly from the wise parent recommendation on
this website) to give him a monthly total as you do to help him learn to
budget and make priorities. We are now giving him $125 per month for
clothing, entertainment, and food. He may run out midmonth as your
daughter did, but he will have to work to earn more if he wants it. An open
campus can be a challenge, but there is nothing wrong with learning about
budgeting and setting priorities about money at a young age. Part of that of
course, is learning that some people have more money than others, and that
can be tough. Good luck!
Last year my 17 year-old daughter had the maturity to beg me NOT
to give her her whole allowance at one time -- and her's was a
weekly allowance. Why give your daughter a month's allowance
at a time at her age? Once its gone its gone, but I think your
expectation that she would behave responsibly (or SHOULD at her
age!) is a burden for her to bear.
Regarding money at BHS and Dad's night: Our family always did the bag
lunch thing until our daughter went to BHS. She tried to keep it up but all
her buddies wandered Shattuck at lunchtime, buying their bagels, lattes,
Chinese food, etc. She wasn't eating her bag lunch! Rather than have her go
hungry or in debt to friends, we gave her a very modest lunch allowance of
$2 a day for a bagel with cream cheese. For the first several months, we gave
her the money each day, so she wouldn't blow it all in a day. Now we are
giving her about $15 on Mondays. I really think if you give them too much
they can't make good decisions about saving the money for inexpensive food
later. And, yes, it's very hard when other kids get more spending money!
We live in
a very well off community and I'd say most of the teens get
a generous stipend. We hired a young teen just turning 13
years old through a city youth work program. We also hired
2 other youth. Three years later, the 13 year old is still
working for us on a weekly basis. She is wonderful and
this has been the best thing for her and her family and my
family in many ways! The reason she was motivated to work
was her parents told her that she needed to pay for her own
clothes and any food she ate outside of the home. Although
she was angry with them at first, she is one of the most
self confident, smart, and geniunely beautiful 16 year olds
that I know. She will be able to do anything she sets her
mind on. Her parents taught her to fish instead of fishing
My son who is now a senior at BHS has been getting $20 a
week for the past few years. We buy his bus pass and school
related items, but he is responsible for his clothes, cell
phone, movies, meals/ school lunches out with friends,
concerts, etc. We do pay for school activities, other
things, such as ski or dress clothes, some prom expenses,
occasional lunches outand any activity/trip he does with us,
etc. He claims it is not enough, but he manages with the
help of money from babysitting and his summer job.
He also claims that no other parents make their children pay
their own expenses. That may be, but he has learnd to budget
better, and knows that if he wants designer jeans, or trendy
shoes he has to pay for them.
My grandson, who lives with me, is a freshman in high
school. I give him twenty dollars per week. I started a few
years ago with less money and increased it sort of by the
year. I give it to him on Friday after school. He's not a
big clothes person, but whenever he asks for clothes, I pay
for them. I give him extra if he's going somewhere where
he'll need extra money. Big expenses, like a trip to
paintball jungle, I try to pay for myself. He seems happy
with the arrangement. If he seems to be out of money, I
give him five dollars, or whatever seems appropriate
this page was last updated: Oct 13, 2011
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