school

The Mummy Wars battle is about to kick off in the playground next week.

Are you ready for the shaming?

There are so many rules it is hard to keep up. The banned list, the encouraged list, the shamed list.

And then once you meet the official criteria you have to bow to public pressure to keep up standards.

“Jennifer Goodyear has home made tofu pockets. I want home-made tofu pockets.”

“Why can’t you give us a paleo lunch like the Andrew twins get?”

“I was SO embarrassed to have tuna Mum. Tomorrow vegemite cruskits and NOTHING else.”

Fruit AND vegetables. No shaming here.

It’s a minefield this school thing, and the toughest part is something you have to face every single day.

School lunches.

Back to school next week and if you are anything like me you will be dreading the return to the morning dilemma of what to pack in those tupperwear boxes. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

It's exhausting, and a new study has shown that nine out of every ten parents feel the same way saying they find it tough to keep their children interested in the contents of their lunchboxes.

(Three out of three in my house.)

With two thirds of parents saying they actually feel pressured by other mothers and even teachers to come up with “fabulous” lunch goods.

Usually you read this studies with a degree of skepticism, but I can tell you this one is true.

It is perhaps a by-product of the Pintrest and Instagram obsessed culture we live in that the lunch box has become the new battleground in the Mummy Wars.

Not cheese and lettuce again Mum.

Snack shaming. Sandwich scoffing. Recess ridicule. It’s a thing.

In my eager days as a blissful kindergarten parent last year I remember casually praising the tuck-shop to a group of mothers in the playground while we tearily farewelled our black-shoed angels.

I was met with gasps of horror. “Well we might allow Jemina to use it once a term as a special treat,” said one.

“Oh but I just like baking too much in the morning before school,” crowed another.

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“And how can you be sure exactly what goes into the sandwiches you order?” questioned the third.

Humbly I admitted that I just assumed on a Vegemite sandwich went bread, butter and Vegemite.

It turned out that in some circles using the tuck-shop on a weekly basis was akin to wearing a neon sign saying “I don’t care about my kids”.

Playground chats with other mothers revealed a similar kind of shame, a peer-pressure induced guilty that using the tuck-shop was taking the easy way out.

Lunch shaming has gotten so intense that just last year a Sydney school made headlines when they announced they were lunch shaming small children whose Spiderman and Frozen tuperwear containers held contraband products.

Tuck-shop shamers be damned!

While the kids weren’t exactly force fed kale and camel milk smoothies in front of the school assembly they were told to take their junk food back to their McDonalds munching Mums and “recommended healthy ­alternatives".

The thing is though that, as parents, we all know we should cut back on pre-packaged snacks for our kids’ recess, and we all know the risk of sending known allergen’s but lunch shaming like this is sending the wrong message to our children.

They need to learn to make healthy choices for themselves; they need to learn about what foods are beneficial and which ones aren’t.

And they need to eat what their busy mothers bloody well give them. Even if it gives them “tuna breath” in maths.

So last year, after my playground interrogation I decided to do some investigating of my own. What I found was that our school tuck-shop actually offered healthy, well-priced lunch orders. My weekly treat to myself became a Friday morning off – and my son got a brown paper bag and a $5 note.

Tuck-shop shamers be damned!

Have you (or your child) ever been school lunch shamed?

Want more? Try:

Quick and easy lunch ideas we guarantee your kids will love.

What this mum puts in her kids’ lunch boxes is extraordinary.

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