What’s For Lunch?

I just read a post on Facebook about what to put in a child’s lunch box.  The list read like a restaurant menu.  I was amazed.  Are kids so fussy these days?  Are parents stressing themselves out this much about what their child is eating at lunch time?  

When i was a kid, my lunchbox looked pretty much the same every day.

Two pieces of bread with butter (not margarine) and either Vegemite, jam, cheese or a combination thereof.  I was not a peanut butter fan so that was not an option.  


Two biscuits…usually sweet ones like Iced VoVo’s or Orange Slice.  My dad worked at the Arnotts biscuit factory so every Friday evening he was given a bag containing six packets of biscuits for evaluation.  A feedback sheet was included in the bag. Eating the biscuits was partly pleasure and partly a community service.  Our comments were used for the benefit of biscuit munchers Australia-wide. 




And one piece of fruit.   Image


Every day the same menu.  It didn’t worry us any.  We weren’t interested in the food for any purpose other than its stomach filling qualities.  What was important was how quickly you could eat it, so that you were ready to play when the bell rang.  Those who dawdled over lunch missed out on being chosen for team games, were last in the queue for the swings or hopscotch and couldn’t find a space on the climbing frame.  

In my time as a classroom teacher I noticed that things hadn’t changed much.  The urgency to eat lunch was driven by the need to access the sports equipment room, claim the best play areas or be on the best team.  I know that many parents would be disappointed to see how much beautiful healthy, lovingly prepared lunchbox food ends up partially eaten in the rubbish bins.

I know schools today are obliged to push the “healthy food/diet” barrow and I applaud their efforts.  The food given to our kids should be healthy and as unadulterated as possible, but I do wonder if school lunchboxes need to be at such gourmet levels e.g.. bolognaise bake slices, golden brunch puffs. As for chicken and mayo wraps…..well, I have never been at a school where kids could put their lunchboxes in a fridge until lunch time, so I would not be giving my child chicken and mayo that had been sitting in a hot school bag for four hours even if it did have a frozen drink in there with it.  

What do you think? Do you spend time figuring out tasty gourmet lunches for your kids or are they munching on sandwiches and fruit?



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