I can hardly remember what my mum packed for my lunch when I was growing up, but I do remember one thing: it was easy.
She would whip together a sandwich and place it, alongside a piece of fruit and a chocolate chip muesli bar, into my very non-descript, plain lunchbox (we didn’t have Disney character lunchboxes “back in my day”).
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Rinse and repeat (literally!) every day of the week.
Oh, what a different world we’re in today!
Now, we have the Lunchbox Police commenting on all of the food we send with our kids to school or kindy.
The latest crime? A parent had the audacity to send, wait for it: sultanas.
Their kindy sent home a note advising that the sultanas were “unacceptable” – because the sultanas in question apparently had too much sugar in them – and asked the parents to “please help us encourage nutritious eating habits in children”.
What a crock! Sultanas are a perfectly fine snack for a growing kid.
I can understand the good intentions behind healthy eating policies, but this is going too far.
According to the mum involved, “Today’s lunch consisted of a sandwich roll, two boiled eggs, an orange, kiwi fruit and a handful of sultanas. She never has packaged food in her lunchbox or anything with refined sugar.”
Honestly – that looks like a model lunchbox to me!
Her kids didn’t even get the Australian lunchbox staple: a bag of Tiny Teddies.
I appreciate that childcare centres and schools are trying to do their best, and educating parents is a great idea to make sure kids don’t turn up with a lunchbox full of Twisties and Mars Bars.
And I concede that there are some considerations to be aware of: sultanas are quite high in sugar, and they’re covered in sulphites to preserve them, which isn’t ideal.
That said, picking on the humble sultana is plain silly, as they’re also full of vitamins and nutrients.
I’m no nutritionist, but as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, I reckon they’re a-okay.