'Aw, Mom, polony AGAIN?'
Moms are finding the daily challenge of school lunches harder to stomach.
Image: via Shutterstock

Of all of the stresses which are created by parenting, you'd be surprised to hear that making school lunches is one of the worst. Or maybe you're not surprised. According to Jezebel.com, a survey of moms has shown that not only do they get bored with making school lunches for their kids, but that it actually creates stress for them.

What's the problem?

55% of moms interviewed said that the idea of making school lunches 'gives them night terrors', and that more andd more dads are stepping in to make the lunches. Of course, in the US school system, one which often includes fully-equipped cafeterias and a complex social system in which your kid could be mocked for having a 'lame lunch', there are different challenges than the ones faced by SA school kids.

It takes quite a bit of responsibillity (and organisation) to get the lunches ready. You have to keep them in the back of your head when you do your weekly or monthly shopping- if you're a single parent to a small child, you can't just pop out alone at night to buy the forgotten fruit or crackers. If you don't want the lunch boxes to come home untouched, there has to be enough variety in it to keep a picky child happy, too.

Routine burnout

If you're a working parent you have the additional pressure of time: The evenings and mornings are a mad rush of getting home, preparing meals, running baths, getting homework done, laundry, and... and... As ridiculous as it sounds, the 15 minutes which probably go into packing a school lunch can become a massive psychological burden.

For many moms, the challenge is keeping costs down. Store-bought snack packs tend to be pricey, but such great time-savers that it's tempting
to swing past the garage shop on the way to school and pick up a ready-made roll and some other snacks and juice for your child, but preparing your child's lunch box at home will probably cost half the price, but double the time-investment.

To add even more stress, many schools won't allow 'junk food', so you have to figure out how to create a varied selection of fruit, yoghurt, dried fruit, sandwiches, breads and cheeses when all your kid wants is sugar. It's easy to compromise by making a healthy lunch, but then allowing your kid to supplement the meal with sweet treats bought from the tuck shop. That's if your kid can cope with looking after money. (On that note- just how many lunchboxes go missing every year?)

There will always be at least one kid in your child's class whose mom seems to spend an hour trimming the sandwiches into heart shapes, whipping up homemade sushi and then adding little love notes for their kid to open, but it's not a competition- just remember that lunch is just there to keep your child fed, and, although he may not be thanking you for it everyday, it's just one of those sacrifices you have to make, right?

We have 10 tips which may help to keep your blood pressure down when it comes to lunch boxes, so check them out, or get them to make their own.

Do you find making school lunches stressful?
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