|Sylvia's themos water bottle|
We develop our expectations of food from our own experiences so let me tell you about my own primary school lunches. I usually had sandwiches - german sausage and tomato sauce, vegemite and cheese or vegemite and walnuts - and some fruit and cake. All wrapped in waxed paper. (I really hated the waxed paper.) Occasionally we put in lunch orders to a nearby milk bar for pies or pasties, chips (crisps) and flavoured milk. It was a treat. We also had cordial in our water bottles in the first few weeks of each year, which I loved.
|Crackers, cheese, cherry tomatoes, cooked potato, choc chip cookie, peach slices|
Like my school Sylvia does not have a canteen at school. The only exception is that occasional canteen run by the Junior School Council, which sells popcorn, sultanas, zooper doopers and other healthyish) snacks. However unlike my school, there is no lunch order service every day. Lunch orders are only available on a few days. They came from a nearby cafe offering sandwiches, sushi, dim sims, baked potatoes, spaghetti, fruit, flavoured milk and juice.
|Cheeseymite scroll, carrots, porridgies, pear slices|
When I bought the Peppa Pig lunchbox I found that our little tubs fitted neatly inside it. It has been a good system. Though there are mornings when they are hard to find. I would like a bento box but never found one I liked and the tubs give me good flexibility.
|Sushi, soy crisps, walnuts, Herman the German apple cake, apple slices|
I started writing Sylvia's name using permanent markers but they washed off quickly. On my sister's recommendation (thanks Susie) I bought some name tags from Bright Star. They have been fantastic. They stay on for ages and we still have lots of them.
|Cheeseymite scroll, carrots, gingerbread stars, apple slices|
From the start I would give Sylvia some protein, some vegetable, some sweet home baking, some fruit. The lunchbox below was quite unusual because I didn't have fresh fruit and used dried fruit instead. She always has water in her water bottle.
|Sushi, carrots, roasted chickpeas, porridgies, dried apricots and dates|
At first Sylvia refused to eat sandwiches. Sandwiches seem such standard lunchbox fare so I pushed her to eat them. After all we regularly have home made bread in the house. I remember the first day I put a sandwich in her lunchbox. She screamed in outrage. However she has come around.
|Cheese and vegemite sandwiches (on seeded sourdough), carrots, chocolate cupcakes, pear slices|
- Crackers and hummus
- Crackers and cheese
- Vegemite and cheese sandwiches
- Sushi (seasoned rice and nori but no filling)
- Cheeseymite scrolls from Bakers Delight (every Tuesday)
- Dried chickpeas and tofu bacon
- Cheese stars (like these)
- Carrots or cherry tomatoes
|Rice crackers, hummus, carrots, banana oat pancakes, apple slices|
- Chocolate cupcakes
- Banana oat pancakes (I would freezer leftovers on weekends for emergencies)
- Gingerbread biscuits
- Choc chip cookies
- ANZAC biscuits
- Apple or pear
- Peaches, apricots or cherries
|Vita wheat crackers, roasted chickpeas, coconut bacon, chocolate iced doughnut, apple slices|
I sometimes feel guilty that her lunches are so boring and often the same but Sylvia likes to eat the same old thing. (NB the photos in this post were taken when I thought there was something interesting to record.) However I also see lots of recommendations for school lunches that seem incredibly fussy. I would always put together lunch in the morning and some days it has been a mad rush. I just don't have time for such fancy food. Not to mention that it is often messy and hard to pack.
|Cheese stars, carrots, almond choc chip cookie, apple slices|
When I first started to think about school lunches, I packed a lot more than I do now. Even so, Sylvia often does not eat all her lunch at school. We have a rule on this. If she doesn't eat her lunch, she eats the leftovers before any other snacks after school. Usually she does eat any leftovers before dinner.
|Tortilla, hummus, cherry tomatoes, glo bar, pear slices|
Sylvia's school does not have a no nuts policy. For months I mistakenly thought there was and I have more recently spoken to other parents who were under the impression there was. Perhaps it is a hangover of the strict food policies at child care. I have been told that it is impossible to enforce a no nuts policy because children bring their own lunches. However there is a policy of no sharing food among kids.
|Cheese and vegemite sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, iced cupcake, apricots|
I am not a nutritionist and do not claim to have made perfect lunches but I think they are ok, though probably too many sweet treats. However I feel it is not too bad compared to the child care lunches she was served. I would get annoyed at the lack of protein or the processed meat patties she got there. It would be good to get more vegies into Sylvia's lunchbox. She is slowly starting to eat more of our meals so that might give me more options next year.
|Cheese and vegemite sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, chocolate mince tart, peach slices|
What did you have for school lunches when you were at school? What do your kids enjoy now or what would you like to pack for kids lunchboxes?