I have two kids. My two kids are very different. My two kids eat similar foods, but are also very different in their tastes. I’m an exteacher. I’ve taught everything from Kindergarten to year 12. I’ve taught kids on free school dinners in the UK, I’ve taught kids with gourmet lunches hand delivered by parents to school and I’ve taught kids who have been starving in the afternoon as they haven’t had any lunch that I’ve given crackers or part of my lunch to. And I’ve never quite seen anything like the lunch shaming…and mummy judgement that I’ve seen this year.
When I started my blog, I did so for a purpose. To try and help people to have more ideas on what to feed their kids. I’m real, the food I show in photos is what they are actually eating and the recipes I post are what I’m actually making. I don’t want people seeing my photos and feeling bad. I don’t want them to be used to shame people and I certainly don’t ever try to scare people or shame them into changing the way their kids eat.
I make choices as to how I feed my kids that are my own. Just as you make choices as to how you feed your kids. My choices aren’t any more right than yours, they aren’t any more important than yours. Our choices are based on reasons.
My choices are based on these reasons.
- I have time for the lunches I make.
- I have the financial resources to make the lunches I make.
- I have kids that eat the lunches I make.
- I have lunchboxes that come back empty or close to it everyday.
- But most of all, I enjoy making the lunches I make.
You choose how you want to make the lunches you make based on similar or maybe even different reasons. There are kids who have sensory processing disorders and can’t deal with textures in foods, bright colours or even strange tastes. There are autistic spectrum kids who will eat the same lunch every day. There are kids with allergies, intolerances and intense dislikes. That goes back to the first paragraph, no two kids are the same. And therefore no two lunch choices will be the same.
Some days I use cutters and make love hearts throughout a lunchbox. Some days I grab stuff from the freezer and the lunchbox does the hard work of making it look pretty. Some days I throw a few cute picks in to hide the fact that it’s not exciting.
Let’s be honest we aren’t getting the best advice from the media. There’s an ad on the radio here in Sydney that is all about kids not eating their quinoa or sushi or whatever and that what they need is a ham sandwich. If that’s where we are getting our advice then we need to assess that advice well because it is advertising, it is trying to sell us something and advertisers never let anything get in the way of a sale.
What I choose to put or not put in my kids lunches is my choice based again on my reasons above. If someone asks me for ideas, I will help them, if they want to make healthier choices I will do my best to give them some. But it’s about personal choice. There should not be mothers shaming each other for lunches.
Someone asked me recently why I don’t give parenting advice. The reason? I’m not parenting any better than anyone else. I’m making my choices about parenting. As parents that’s what we do. And as parents we should be secure enough in what we do to know that it is all about choices, we make our own and don’t need to push those choices down the throats of anyone else. I don’t need to judge anyone for their parenting choices, I may not agree with them, but they are their choices.
There is no need to be judgmental. If we all spend the time that we are wasting on lunch shaming…and mummy judgment doing something nice for someone or doing something we enjoy we will find that the world will be a much better place!
isn’t the clip art in the picture cute? It’s from Whimsy Clips.