parent opinion

'I'm a new school mum, and I need to vent about lunchboxes.'

Welcome to episode one of ‘Lunchbox Bitches’. At least that’s what it felt like as I was mentally preparing myself to become a school mum this year. 

It seems people have created a new argumentative hobby which includes every single item in the lunchbox you pack for your child. I say hobby because this really isn’t argument-worthy, yet somehow the negative vibes are floating from one kid’s muesli bar to another parent’s unsolicited opinion

Video via MM

I started to feel a little anxious reading some of the online wars around lunchbox etiquette in the lead up to Term one. Quite frankly, I do not have the time, energy, nor care factor to be caught up in this so I’m on team ‘Who Cares’. My hand is not up, I do not want to participate, and I hope to be ignored by the judging panel. 

I mean, as long as our kids have food to eat, that’s a win isn’t it? 

It seems no, unfortunately. A quick scour on Facebook will reveal that you’ve either got too much plastic, which makes you a lazy mum, or not enough, meaning you need to calm down and put something store bought in there because you’re obviously trying too hard.

I’ve even read about parents going as far as emptying food from its packet into the lunchbox just to appear like it’s ‘nude food’! 

As long as the food isn’t mouldy, does it really matter how we bring the food to school? 


But it doesn’t end there. Absolutely everything inside a lunchbox can be up for evaluation. You’ve either packed them way too much food or you’re starving them, which blows my mind, because I’m three kids in and can confirm none of them eat the same amount of food. One is a bottomless pit and could probably eat several lunchboxes worth, while another could float through the day grazing on nothing more than a carrot and sandwich.  

On This Glorious Mess, a childcare educator reveals what your kid should know how to do before making the transition to big school. Post continues below.

Some kids like to eat a rainbow - and it really does feel like the nutritional jackpot when they eat it all. However, some kids aren’t currently eating red foods because, you know, kids go through some strange phases and we can’t force the food down their throats.

Rectangular and triangular sandwiches are apparently ‘so 90’s’, but let’s not turn up our noses over a sandwich shape? The cool shapes look awesome, the rectangle and triangle shapes look awesome, a fed child looks even more awesome.

People like to assume you must have forgotten to add the secret ingredient of love because lunchbox art isn’t your forte. 

But if you DO manage some lunchbox art, you’re rewarded the title of ‘snobby bitch with too much time on their hands’. Did anyone consider that maybe it just makes them happy? And who are we to judge anyway? 

Basically, you can’t win - but guess what? That’s because there’s no competition, and it doesn’t matter what other people think of the lunch you pack for your kid.

I’ve proudly been initiated into the daily ritual and will now and forever be the kind of parent who packs what works for us, not others. Cheers to hopefully never talking about lunchboxes again - other than asking for ideas.

Feature image: Getty/Mamamia.