The Horror Of School Lunches - The M Word

The Horror Of School Lunches

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As trials and tribulations go, it may not sound the worst: but to me it is – creating school lunches each day.

I have two boys of school going age, and the only thing they will eat in common is chocolate spread sandwiches (which they cannot have because they contain hazelnuts and the school is a nut free zone.) So each week I traipse around Lidl or Tesco searching for inspiration. I find myself looking at the articles that pop up on social media with interesting lunch ideas from mom goddesses – with sandwiches cut into love hearts and little animal faces made out of fruit.

I would like it known I have invested huge money (relatively speaking) in funky lunch boxes with different compartments. You know the ones so you can give like four different types of chopped fruit or veg, humus with bread sticks and the likes?

With my youngest, ‘mini’ seems to be the theme. He will eat mini cucumbers, carrots, bread sticks, frubes, sandwiches cut up small and so on. My older guy is stuck on jam sandwiches or chicken wraps (which he won’t eat if ‘they are gone all warm’ by the time he goes to eat them) and yoghurts.

Everything else I add in to bulk up their lunches (and make myself feel better in the process), just seems to go on a nice trip to school and back each day.

My youngest hates jam and chicken. My older guy won’t eat raw veg at all.

So when I do manage to scrape together a lunch box each, with some variety, it is soul destroying to open up a practically untouched lunch box at the end of the day. It seems a constant battle. ‘Why didn’t you eat your grapes? You chose that for your fruit break yourself?!’

Excuses like; ‘teacher didn’t give us enough time,’ aka they were yapping to their friends or ‘it had brown bits on it,’ aka I squished it back into my lunch box and it went brown, are commonly heard.

So here is a shout out to all the broken mothers out there.  We are all in it together. None of our children will ever finish their lunch, even though they choose the contents themselves and assure us that they do still like butter today. Once their teacher sees their delicious lunches, full of nourishing food at least we can give ourselves a pat on the back for effort!

Jen Crawford
Jen Crawford
Jen is Co-Owner of a national Doula agency, DoulaCare Ireland ( She is a Birth & Postpartum Doula, Antenatal Educator, Breastfeeding Counsellor and Mindfulness in Pregnancy Instructor. Jen is Mam to Seth, Leon and Kayla, wife to Paul and lives in North Dublin with her family.