AFTER we’ve cooked dinner, done the washing up and put the kids to bed, the last thing we do before calling it a night is pack their lunchboxes for the following day.
In other words, we don’t have the time, energy or patience to replicate those cartoon-themed Bento boxes full of individually prepped fruit and veg slices we’re forever seeing on TikTok.
And it turns out, we’re not alone in this – as one mum has been hailed a “hero” online after she shared a photo of her son’s largely beige lunchbox.
Posting on the Facebook group Lunchbox Mums, the Australian parent wrote: “[I’ve seen] lots of fancy, colourful lunches that, although they look amazing, my fussy 6 year old wouldn’t touch even if I paid him.”
In her fussy eater’s lunchbox, the mum packed a cheese sandwich, some popcorn, a mini stack of pancakes, some pears and a handful of chopped grapes.
She continued: “I wanted to make a safe space for parents who are forever preparing, what I like to call, the beige special!”
The post has racked up over 3,000 ‘likes’ in the group – and the photo resonated with countless other parents.
“This is my kinda lunchbox,” one replied. “I have 4 kids so won’t be spending hours in the morning or night before making super fancy lunches, just a good variety of colourful foods will be awesome for them.”
Another added: “The beige special is a daily in our house. Congrats on getting those grapes in there.”
“Our son only has plain everything,” a third said. “Tomato sauce is the only colour lol.”
What the NHS recommends children have for lunch:
The NHS gives a number of suggestions and guidelines on their Change4Life website.
- Base the lunchbox on foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes – wholegrain ideally – too keep kids fuller for longer
- If your child isn’t keen on wholegrain, try making sandwiches with one slice of white and one slice of wholemeal bread
- Try to keep lunchboxes interesting by using a variety of shapes like bagels, pittas and wraps
- Make food fun as lunches can be more exciting if the child has to put them together, like having foods for dipping and makes a change from sandwiches every day.
- Opt for low fat foods, like lean meats or fish.
- Cut down on the amount of spreads you put into sandwiches
- Always add a bit of salad and vegetables to the meal
- Cut down on the crisps
- Chop up some fruit or peal satsumas and add those instead of sweets
- Cheese can be high in fat and salt so pick strong tasting ones or go for low-fat varieties
- Get the kids involved in making the lunch – they’ll be more likely to eat it if they helped make it
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