Parents across Australia are now writing notes on their children’s lunchboxes to explain to teachers why the contents may not appear as ‘healthy’ as they’d like.
A mother from Queensland recently shared her own example in a lunchbox-themed Facebook group alongside the caption ‘the struggle is real’.
She explained that her son, who has autism, is unable to ‘articulate exactly why he never has a sandwich’ and wrote the note to help teachers understand why his lunchbox was full of ‘snack’ foods.
‘My lunchbox may not look healthy but it’s all I will eat. Please be patient as I work through my sensory issues,’ the message read.
Parents across Australia are now writing notes on their children’s lunchboxes to explain to teachers why the contents may not appear as ‘healthy’ as they’d like (pictured )
Is there a link between ‘fussy’ eating habits and autism spectrum disorder?
Some children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are fussy eaters and will eat only a limited range of food.
Some have sensory sensitivities and prefer food with particular textures while others like routines and want the same food every day.
Making the child eat a new food can make things worse, and they might refuse to eat altogether.
Source: Raising Children
Since the mother couldn’t be there herself she wanted to explain the meal for him, in the hopes critical teachers would let him eat it.
Her son’s lunch was made up of a variety of foods including corn on the cob, a handful of air popped popcorn and sesame snaps.
She also clarified that she is not ‘particularly fussed’ about judgemental parents or teachers but just wanted to help her son out if he was asked.
‘As awesome as my child is, he isn’t able to quite articulate exactly why he never has a sandwich or wrap for lunch and prefers to munch on popcorn instead,’ she wrote.
The woman was met with a flood of positive comments from people who had no issue with the contents of the box.
‘Looks healthy babe. I love your note, that’s awesome, I’m going to borrow for my boy for kindy. I adore your advocacy for your child,’ one mum wrote.
‘This is such a great solution! While it’s sad such a message needs to be written it helps teacher awareness. The trend for healthy food monitoring is at its extreme,’ said another.
Many commenters said the fact that schools are becoming so strict is ‘ridiculous’.
‘As long as you don’t take chocolate and lollies then I don’t see why some things are such a problem,’ one comment read.
This woman’s post comes after the increase in primary schools sending lunchboxes home that they don’t deem healthy enough for their students.
Previously a different Australian mother took to Facebook to reveal the lunch that landed her four-year-old daughter in hot water.
Comprising of fruit, vegetables, crackers and cheese, at first glance the homemade meal appears to cover all nutritional bases.
This mother was scolded for packing a small chocolate in her daughter’s healthy school lunchbox
However, upon a teacher’s further inspection, it was a single Hershey’s Kiss that marked the lunch too unhealthy and saw the sweet treat confiscated.
‘My youngest daughter’s teacher took her little Hershey’s Kiss off her and told her she had to eat it at home… my eldest daughter was able to eat hers!!’ wrote the girl’s mother.
She explained further, revealing the snack’s removal had nothing to do with other children’s allergies.
‘Nuts are allowed at the school… she had eaten all her fruit, and salad and half her sandwich,’ she wrote.
‘(The daughter) said the teacher told her she shouldn’t eat sugar at school. Yet the canteen serves custard, chips, sausage rolls, meat pies, quench soft drinks and cupcakes!’
The post prompted backlash from other mothers in the group, who collectively agreed with the absurdity of the confiscation
Although the incident may seem extreme in nature, it is just part of the growing trend of ‘lunchbox shaming’
The post prompted backlash from other mothers in the group, who collectively agreed with the absurdity of the confiscation.
‘That’s crazy it’s a well balanced lunch FFS! I’ve only made one lunchbox as my son has just started preschool and was so paranoid after reading similar stories so I tried to hide his chocolate under the raspberries,’ wrote one bemused user.
‘Teachers are there to teach not police lunchboxes – if parents feed their kid foods high in sugars or preservatives and the teachers feel it effects the kids wouldn’t a quiet word be better that shaming the parent and making the child feel bad?’ said another.
Although the incident may seem extreme in nature, it is just part of the growing trend of ‘lunchbox shaming’.