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ANONYMUM: 'I fake my son’s "nude food" lunch box and I'm not even sorry.'

I remember it vividly. It was the first day of the school year and a friend of mine (let’s call her Jane) posted this gorgeous photo of her son in his uniform. “First day of Grade 2!”, read the caption.

Cute, I thought.

I swiped across to view the next image – a photo of his lunchbox. The caption: “Nude food lunch box, check!”

My first thought? That looks like SO much work.

My second was the realisation that my son’s lunchbox looks nothing like that (cue a visual of a sandwich in a zip lock bag, a muesli bar in plastic wrapping, a cheese Stringer and some fruit.)

The next time I caught up with Jane I told her how impressed I was with her lunchbox effort.

“I do it every day, everyone does it now. It’s just expected,” she replied.

Jane then explained the ‘nude food’ (i.e. food not wrapped in foil, plastic or commercial packaging) routine she follows to create this lunchbox masterpiece, day in and day out.

“Each morning it takes about five minutes putting it together but at least two hours of my Sunday is spent prepping it. I go to the market to get organic, fresh fruit and veggies, then the rest of the afternoon is spent either preparing the food, cooking or baking what I will need for the week.”

I stood there in shock, and then went home to fact check. Surely this can’t be right, I thought.

Much to my dismay, it was. It is.

It seems almost everyone is on this ‘nude food’ bandwagon, and those on it seem to love posting about it.

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Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate eating nutritious food. I also appreciate the environment and reducing waste, but I appreciate my energy and my sanity more.

Simply put, there is no way that I have the time to do this. To be honest, even if I did have the time I would much rather be spending it with my family and friends, making actual memories and enjoying my life then spending two hours of my Sunday preparing nude food for my son’s lunchbox because “everybody’s doing it.”

But I can pretend.

So that’s when it started. That was when I decided I would do it – that I would cheat. The next morning, for the first time, I faked a nude food lunch box. And I have continued to do it ever since.

Let me paint a visual: inside the carefully sectioned lunch box or bento box (whatever bloody box it is) that I went out and purchased (because we need to look the part) I put in an apple (totes nude), banana (only nature’s wrapping there), I removed sultanas from the plastic bag they came in, removed popcorn from its foil sleeve, even banana bread from its individual plastic wrapping and into the lunch box it went. Ta-da! A nude lunchbox.

And that is how it has been ever since: fake nude food lunchboxes five days a week. And you know what? No one could ever tell.

Before the judgement is passed and all the ‘simple’ suggestions for being authentically nude are sent my way, I would like to say a few things.

I do not feel guilty for doing this, I am not lazy and I am totally ethical (despite this small bending of the truth.) Because I’m sorry Nudies, but items like yoghurt and dried fruit do not just appear from nature. Unless you’re batch-culturing your own yoghurt, surely you’ve had a little help sourcing these ‘raw’ ingredients too.

But sadly, even if we all cheat, we still feel the pressure to do it.

It comes from far and wide. From celebrity parents’ Instagram feeds, school newsletters, heck – even the government is on board. There is both an unspoken and very much spoken expectation and judgement that surrounds nude food lunchboxes and frankly, everything about children’s food these days.

So, I will continue to fake it and not actually make it. There, I said it.

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