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School lunch vs Pack lunch – which packs the ultimate punch?

Brace yourself for this unsavoury sight, a father shared a stomach-churning picture of his son’s measly school lunch – and let’s just say I wish it had come with a warning!

Click here to read the full article.

Beyond the initial outrage of the unappetising combination of four lonely chicken nuggets, heap of plain (presumably unseasoned) rice and anaemic looking carrots, the parent in question was horrified by the tiny portion being served up.

Chris Vangellow shared the sorry looking plate to Facebook, blasting his child’s school for failing to provide growing students with “enough energy”, and claiming that “since the lunches are now free for everyone, the portions have dropped.”

Like adults, kids tend to eat with their eyes so when presented with that sad looking and scarce assortment of foods, it’s unlikely to tempt even the most ravenous of children.

Besides the lacking portion for a growing child with demanding energy needs, the meal appears to be devoid of any nutritional value. This is particularly alarming when you take into consideration the fact that many parents and children (especially from low-income households) rely on their school lunch as one of the main daily sources of nutrition and sustenance throughout the week.

Given that school children consume one third of their daily food intake at school (once they are too old for the government’s free school meals initiative), the humble lunch box is certainly not to be scoffed at.

I’ve always considered school lunches (be it provided by home or the canteen) to be a formative time for children and their eating habits, offering them the opportunity for food exploration and independent eating away from the gaze of their parents.

It’s for that reason that I have tirelessly sought to create different, exciting ways to get kids engaged, exploring and eating at lunchtimes. 

It is too easy for lunchboxes to be packed full of the wrong things, namely the usual culprits; fat, sugar and salt. Not only do these lunch boxes miss the nutritional mark they also negatively impact on energy and concentration levels throughout the day.

So long as parents like Chris Vangellow continue to raise awareness of unsavoury and, quite frankly, unsatisfactory school lunches then we are in with a fighting chance to improve the nutritional intake of our growing little ones at school –  who in these early years need all the help they can get!

However, until standards are universally improved upon, my pack lunch ideas certainly pack a punch – in both nutrition and taste!

Here are some of my simple recipes to elevate your little ones lunchboxes: 

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