I still remember my favorite metal lunch box from elementary school. It was a pale pink with a picture of a French poodle prancing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Inside, I would find my mother’s loving touch: a home-made sandwich wrapped in crinkly wax-paper, a thermos of chocolate milk, fresh fruit and a note with a few kind words.
I grew up before the age of prepared packaged lunches, snack-packs and fruit or sports drinks laced with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Back then, school lunch was pretty simple. We either ate what was prepared—mostly from scratch–in the school cafeteria, or we packed a lunch from home. Commercialism hadn’t permeated public schools yet, and mothers didn’t have to compete with billion dollar back-to-school campaigns featuring sports and movie stars promoting highly-processed, nutrient-poor foods and beverages. (1)
Today’s parents face a tough challenge: We have to help our kids navigate advertising and peer pressure while providing a nutritious and delicious lunch that fuels hard-working brain cells and fast-growing bodies.
The good news is there’s growing evidence supporting mothers’ basic instincts…