A mother-of-four trolled for ‘overpacking’ her children’s lunchboxes with sandwiches, chips, lamingtons, pretzels and fruit, insists they don’t waste a bite and aren’t ‘overweight’.
The Australian mum shared a photo of their school lunches on Facebook before she was inundated with judgmental comments.
The woman, who remained anonymous, was forced to defend meals she packed for her two high schoolers and two primary school kids.
‘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,’ she said.
‘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.’
An Australian mum shared a photo of the food haul on Facebook before she was inundated with comments and had to defend the food she packs for two high schoolers and two kids in primary school
To further explain her choice, the mother broke down what one of her children in primary school would receive on an average day.
The child received one sandwich, a handful of grapes and blueberries, 12 pretzels, one lamington finger, five crackers with five slices of cheese, a packet of chips and occasionally, a slice of watermelon.
‘It really isn’t a lot,’ she said, before saying that one of the school principals has made a remark about the size of their lunchboxes before.
‘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,’ she said of the exchange.
Other mothers were quick to judge the sheer size of the lunch saying that they pack far less for their own children.
‘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,’ one woman said.
‘How do they have time to eat and play too,’ another said.
A third added: ‘My kids wouldn’t eat all that in a week.’
The original poster of the photo said if it seems as though she’s overpacking their lunchboxes it’s because as a kid she was always ‘starving’.
‘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.’
To further explain her choice, the mother broke down what one of her children in primary school would receive on an average day
According to nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, the most important thing when it comes to school lunches is to avoid over-complicating things.
‘While ideally we would mix up our children’s lunches every day, if you know that your children eat cherry tomatoes, grapes, Babybel cheese and eggs, then give them those things,’ she said.
‘A child is unlikely to try something for the first time when it arrives in a lunchbox.’
Ms Cohen recommends packing a balanced mix of slow-release carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein.
THE GOOD LUNCHBOX GUIDE
* SLOW-RELEASING CARBS:
Grainy bread, pasta salad and wholemeal wraps all work well here, according to Lyndi Cohen. They help with energy levels hugely.
Protein is so important for kids’ growth. Whether it’s Vegemite and cheese, egg mayonnaise in a sandwich or chicken, it’s key to balance out the carbs and help kids to feel full.
* HEALTHY FATS:
Healthy fats are also important.
Your children will need snacks throughout the day, and so you need to be prepared with healthy things they can eat. Air-popped popcorn is great, as is fruit, a little bit of cheese or a small yoghurt. Stick to whole foods where possible and you won’t go wrong.
Tips and tricks: From what to put in it to the importance of colour, FEMAIL spoke to leading Sydney-based nutritionist, Lyndi Cohen (pictured), about the perfect lunchbox
‘It’s so important to have a slow-releasing carb like a wholemeal wrap of grainy bread,’ she said.
‘The combo of the carbs, fat and protein will give kids enough energy to actually function.’
One of Ms Cohen’s tricks is to mix up your vegetables with a pasta salad in order to increase the chance that your kids will eat them.
‘Putting things in separate zip lock bags is fussy, and hugely increases the chance that they come home uneaten,’ she said.