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'I was asked by my daughter's (scary as hell) teacher why I overpack her lunchbox.'

School lunch boxes are the bane of most parents’ existence: is it healthy, balanced, and nude? There’s school policies, and parental politics; so many factors to consider.

All of this has to be balanced with if a child will actually eat what’s in their lunchbox, or will they starve all day, affecting their brain function and ruining their chances of a good education? This is why school lunch boxes are hard work.

But as one mum discovered this week, the agony is not over yet. There’s apparently such a thing as packing too much into a lunchbox; which she discovered the hard/delicious way.

LISTEN: Zoe talks about returning to work on Mamamia’s latest podcast for new parents, The Baby Bubble:


Posting about her experience in Facebook parenting group Lunchbox Mums, the mum shared that one day last week she was approached by her daughter’s prep teacher after school, and was asked, “why I pack so much food for my daughter.”

Explaining that her child is a “fussy kid” who changes her mind about food constantly (like most children) she wanted to give her food options so she wouldn’t go hungry during the day.

“I’m trying to teach her variety of foods,” the mum added. “She is also very active. So I would think after a huff and puff [sports] session she would be feeling hungry.”

The mum also included a photo of the lunch box, which showed she had packed luncheon meat, yoghurt, popcorn, grapes, savoury and sweet biscuits, cheese, a small chocolate, and a small muffin.

The offending lunch box. Source: Facebook

The mum concluded her post by acknowledging "I do get it's a lot", but she reasoned that "not a lot comes back."

She also hoped that her daughter would share her food with "a kid [whose] mum or dad is struggling. Isn't fed best?"

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Finally, she admitted that she's a "newbie" school mum, and she asked the group whether they agree with the teacher if it's too much food.

Many mums expressed their frustration at ongoing lunch box politics and ever-changing school policies. They also questioned whether the teacher should have commented on there being too much food.

The post in Lunch Box Mums. Source: Facebook

"I don't think she has any business questioning what you pack your child, tell her to mind her own," one group member said.

Another added passionately; "This infuriated me! Your child is fed. Whether it's too much. Whether it's not enough. Whether it's packaged. Whether it's organic. You are sending your child with something. You are trying. You are being a mother. You should NOT be questioned!"

However, some in the group agreed that the amount of food seemed a tad much.

"11 different types of food does seem a little excessive considering she only has an eating window of about 30 minutes over the course of the whole day," one mum said.

Another wrote, "Definitely too much food. Kids are not encouraged to share as you never know what other kids are allergic to. Some parents would not appreciate somebody feeding their kids sweet stuff like [chocolate] cookies."

One teacher also warned the mum against encouraging her daughter to share food, due to allergy concerns.

Finally, the mum edited her post in response to the comments, and acknowledged, "I get it, no sharing. I tried to pack less tonight... will see how it goes tomorrow."

Do you think this lunch box contained too much food? Tell us in the comments below.

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