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Let's take the pressure out of our children's lunchboxes

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

The school holidays have flown by and already we're back into the swing of school prep life. One of the most constant sources of stress for parents can be the daily grind of filling the lunchbox. Unavoidable for most of us, and a huge cause of angst for many.

Will they eat what I send? Will I be judged for what's in the box? How many days will that banana travel back and forth between our home and school?

The thought of our children being away for the day and hungry can be worrying.

If you are in the fortunate position to have a choice over what you put in your child's lunchbox, your biggest barrier to stress-free lunchboxes will likely be trust.

Trusting the school and teachers to offer a safe environment for learning about food, and trusting your child to do what's right for their own body. Here is how teachers and parents can work together to nurture that trust.

Why do we need to let go of the pressure?

To be honest, we had a really tough time when my daughter first started school. I've always raised her with the division of responsibility. So it's been her choice to decide how much or whether she wants to eat from what's been served (or put in her lunch box).

When she started school I quickly learnt there was a different set of rules at play. Children were expected to show teachers that they had finished the 'right proportion' of their lunch and eaten enough of the 'healthy food' before they were allowed to go and play.

There are a couple of reasons why I imagine this was happening. Teachers care wholeheartedly about children's well-being. It makes sense that they want well-fed children in their classrooms. Additionally, they are often under pressure from parents, to 'get their child to eat'.

Both parents and teachers are motivated by children's best interests. However, despite the best of intentions, the 'lu