AFTER we've cooked dinner, done the washing up and put the kids to bed, the last thing we do before calling it a night is pack their lunchboxes for the following day.
In other words, we don't have the time, energy or patience to replicate those cartoon-themed Bento boxes full of individually prepped fruit and veg slices we're forever seeing on TikTok.
And it turns out, we're not alone in this – as one mum has been hailed a "hero" online after she shared a photo of her son's largely beige lunchbox.
Posting on the Facebook group Lunchbox Mums, the Australian parent wrote: "[I've seen] lots of fancy, colourful lunches that, although they look amazing, my fussy 6 year old wouldn’t touch even if I paid him."
In her fussy eater's lunchbox, the mum packed a cheese sandwich, some popcorn, a mini stack of pancakes, some pears and a handful of chopped grapes.
She continued: "I wanted to make a safe space for parents who are forever preparing, what I like to call, the beige special!"
The post has racked up over 3,000 'likes' in the group – and the photo resonated with countless other parents.
"This is my kinda lunchbox," one replied. "I have 4 kids so won’t be spending hours in the morning or night before making super fancy lunches, just a good variety of colourful foods will be awesome for them."
Another added: "The beige special is a daily in our house. Congrats on getting those grapes in there."
"Our son only has plain everything," a third said. "Tomato sauce is the only colour lol."
What the NHS recommends children have for lunch:
The NHS gives a number of suggestions and guidelines on their Change4Life website.
- Base the lunchbox on foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes – wholegrain ideally – too keep kids fuller for longer
- If your child isn't keen on wholegrain, try making sandwiches with one slice of white and one slice of wholemeal bread
- Try to keep lunchboxes interesting by using a variety of shapes like bagels, pittas and wraps
- Make food fun as lunches can be more exciting if the child has to put them together, like having foods for dipping and makes a change from sandwiches every day.
- Opt for low fat foods, like lean meats or fish.
- Cut down on the amount of spreads you put into sandwiches
- Always add a bit of salad and vegetables to the meal
- Cut down on the crisps
- Chop up some fruit or peal satsumas and add those instead of sweets
- Cheese can be high in fat and salt so pick strong tasting ones or go for low-fat varieties
- Get the kids involved in making the lunch – they'll be more likely to eat it if they helped make it
For more parenting stories, this mum’s parenting hack goes drastically wrong leaving her kids and her bathroom COVERED in green paint.
And this desperate mum asked for help with her 10-year-old daughter’s ‘trick’ maths homework but got totally savaged in response.
Plus this thrifty mum whipped up 23 meals from ONE chicken and the whole lot only cost her £8.
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