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"I've been told my kids are too old to have their school lunches packed."

Packing your teenage kid’s school lunches doesn’t make you a bad parent, and it’s ridiculous to suggest it does.

I will never stop packing my children’s school lunches. I will try and feed them until the day I die, and finally I’ve found another parent who still packs their high school kid’s school lunches.

Andrew Daddo, my new parenting icon, confessed on this week’s episode of This Glorious Mess that he still packs his teenage children’s school lunches and doesn’t plan to stop.

But he said it as part of the “Nailed and Failed” segment and said it was a fail.

No way is that a fail. No way, no how.

My children – Philip who is 12, Giovanni who is nine and Caterina who is seven – will receive a packed lunch from me until they ask me to stop.

Brown lunch bags are my number one positive parenting tool and yes, sometimes I draw pictures on them.

Andrew Daddo confesses to Holly Wainwright that he still packs his teenage children’s school lunches. Article continues…

Daddo has three teenage children – Felix who is turning 18, Anouk who is 15 and Jasper who is 13 and still packs their lunches each day because he wants them to eat healthily.

“That’s another fail,” he told Holly Wainwright. “I was making school lunches for the kids and I thought fail. I’m still making school lunches.

“I’ve got one in HSC (Year 12 Higher School Certificate), I’ve got one in Year 10 and I’ve got one in Year 8 and I’m still making their lunches.”

Debate about when to stop making your kid’s school lunches has vitriolic of late, with the argument against doing it being that children should learn how to look after themselves and be more independent and self-sufficient.

But what does food have to do with that?

Andrew Daddo with wife Jacqui and children Felix, 17, Anouk, 15 and Jasper, 13. Image: Instagram @andrewdaddo
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My children are capable of packing their school lunches, but I love doing it. I love buying and preparing their favourite foods, packing them and thinking about them eating them at school while I am at work. I like knowing they have healthy choices packed by me, their mum who loves them.

Not that parents who don't pack their children's school lunches don't love them. We all express our love for our children in different ways.

I hate playing board games and card games with my kids but love packing their school lunches.

Other parents love sitting on the floor with their kids playing games.

We all express our love differently.

So why does someone get to say the way in which I choose to express my love for my kids - packing their school lunches - is wrong? Why does that suggest to them that I coddle my children and helicopter parent.

I don't.

My children express their independence in many other ways every single day, but the kitchen is my favourite place and packing their school lunches is my favourite thing.

"I want them to eat well," Andrew said when Holly wondered what other parents would think of the fact he's been packing his children's school lunches for the past 12 years.

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess.

To subscribe to This Glorious Mess in iTunes go to apple.co/mamamia where you'll find all of our shows in one place and any books written by the many Mamamia guests.

Do you think it's okay to pack your children's school lunches forever? Answer in the comments section below.

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