A MUM-of-four who was criticised for ‘overpacking’ her kids’ lunchboxes has revealed the heartbreaking reason why she likes to give them a full meal.
The Australian mum posted on Facebook about how her kids aren’t overweight or wasteful, as she admitted she was often “starved” as a child.
She said she posted originally photos of her prepped lunches, which include sandwiches, crisps, cake, pretzels and fruit, and was flooded with judgemental comments.
The mum defended her meals for her two high schoolers and two primary school kids and said that it is important to her that they don’t go hungry.
She wrote: “Clearly some have their knickers in a twist… There is variety because even if your child enjoys eating the same food everyday, mine don’t and honestly, neither do I.
“There really is not a lot of food there. It is because of the variety of foods that people must be confused. This is for four children in total.”
The mum broke down what one of her primary school kids eats on an average day, to further explain their meals.
They eat one sandwich, grapes and blueberries, 12 pretzels, one slice of cake, five crackers with five slices of cheese, a packet of crisps and sometimes, a slice of watermelon.
Explaining why it is important to her that the youngsters don’t get hungry, the mum said: “I was lucky to get even three food items.
“I do this to ensure they don’t get hungry. If they have leftovers they will eat them when they get home instead of an afternoon snack.”
I do this to ensure they don’t get hungry.
She said that the school headteacher had even commented on the lunches.
The mum said: “He asked me if the kids had any room in their bags after putting in their ‘three lunchbox lunches.’
“Yeah, we managed to fit a drink bottle and a hat as well.”
Some mums were still surprised at the amount that the mum-of-four packs for her kids’ dinners.
One wrote: “My kids wouldn’t eat all that in a week.”
Another added: “The lunchbox with the sandwiches is about as much as I have ever packed… a sandwich, a piece of fruit and two other small snack items (maybe a muffin or some cheese and crackers) is the max I’ve done.”
What the NHS recommends schoolkids 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 satsuamas 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
Sun nutritionist Amanda Ursell says: “Anyone charged with making lunchboxes will know what a grindingly hard balancing act this can be.
“You have to balance individual likes, rules of the school and a budget – and that’s before you take nutrition into account.
“But the nutritional content of a lunchbox is crucial. Get the balance right and you will not just help your kids concentrate better in class, but also help their growth rate, bone strength, energy levels and behaviour.”
A lunchbox should have starchy carbohydrates for energy (wholemeal bread, brown pitta, rice or pasta), protein for growth (fish, chicken, cheese, hummus, beans), fruit and vegetables, calcium for growing bones (milk, natural fromage frais) and a drink, preferably water.
Meanwhile this mum was accused of starving her kids with measly fruit and pretzel portions after proudly showing off their lunchboxes.
We also shared how an organised mum preps a week’s worth of school lunches for her family-of-five & reveals trick to keeping food fresh.