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Food Lunchbox love: Why mums are spending more than $100 on school lunchboxes

10:50  01 june  2018
10:50  01 june  2018 Source:   watoday.com.au

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Mums spend so much time and money on them each year and it’s easy to just make the same sandwiches each day, but you can easily liven up your kids’ lunchboxes with these quick tips. With the back to school period drawing near

And it’s not just time mums spend on this – they also spend more on their child’s lunchbox than on feeding themselves, with the average lunchbox costing almost £14 per week, compared to the £10 per week that half of mums spend on their own lunches .

The PlanetBox set costs more than $100.© Supplied The PlanetBox set costs more than $100. “I have a special kind of love for mothers who have time to make cute little imprints of animals on their kids’ sandwiches,” a friend of mine joked after seeing a photo of a school lunch that would not seem out of place on the cover of Deliciousmagazine.

She, of the old-school vegemite sandwich and apple with a biscuit lunchbox, looked at those glossy shots of super-charged decorative school lunches and just saw what seemed like a lot of hard work.

When sending your kids to school with hard boiled eggs that have faces imprinted on them is a thing, perhaps we’ve got a little carried away?

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One Mum told us she adds left over chicken curry to hers and the kids love them! Easy and tasty for a lunchbox . #78.Themed Lunchboxes . Once a week why not theme your child’s lunchbox ? More dense than usual, they make a filling addition to any lunchbox .

A wife, mum and home cook dedicated to helping you cook with your kids! A born and raised Aussie girl I spent my childhood summers either getting dirty and I would love to learn more about you and you family. The best way to share that and stay connected is to become a ‘my lovely little lunch box family’.

It seems there’s a never-ending increasing list of ‘things’ mothers have to keep on top of.

Playdates because we don’t send our kids into the street to find friends to play with.

A special kind of boiled egg.© Little Bento World A special kind of boiled egg. Schedules. Because gymbaroo, or baby sensory or mini maestros or footy fundamentals or kids coding classes are necessary since we want our little loves to turn out well rounded, successful spawn.

Swimming lessons are a given, from the age of six weeks, thank you very much.

And now more mums are taking the time to get creative with their children’s lunches, to the point that some spend $40 on a lunchbox and take time out of their busy days to decorate sandwiches.

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While my kids get squares or triangles, other kids are receiving cute teddy bear sangas, cheese cut into the shape of birds, and heart prints on their apples.

Yvette Bowyer, owner of Little Bento World, identified the trend for compartment-style lunch boxes in 2013 and said her business had gone from strength to strength. She sells designer lunch boxes like the Yumbox which retails between $40 to $46.

“Parents will pack over 1400 lunches in their child's primary school life,” she said.

“So the bento-style lunches are becoming more popular due to the ease of filling a compartment lunchbox, food allergies and intolerance and schools wanting ‘waste free’ lunchboxes.

“Using a compartment lunchbox is a great way to eliminate packaged food and send a healthy lunchbox to school - full of fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy and carbs.”

Beautiful bites.© Little Bento World Beautiful bites. She said school food rules were having an impact on what parents packed.

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Our 5 clever lunchbox ideas help you accomplish all of these goals and they will take less than 5 minutes! We really try and use as many reusable products as we can since we send a school to lunch everyday. Money well spent I tell ya.

“Most schools in WA have three meal times; crunch and sip, recess and lunch,” Ms Bowyer said.

“Most WA schools are 'nut aware', which means that sending nutella or peanut butter sandwiches to school is not allowed.

“Then you have the 'waste-free' schools as well, which means no packaging like chips or Le Snaks.

"By using a bento-style lunchbox, this helps parents to choose a healthy option for school lunches in compartments to keep everything together but separated.”

Having spent more than $100 on each of her kids’ PlanetBox compartment-style lunchbox kits (including insulated bag), you’d be forgiven for assuming Perth mother-of-three Michelle Triplett would be right into the sandwich decorating, cheese sculpting trend.

No such luck.

“My lunchbox goal is to provide a healthy lunch with the minimum time needed to prepare it,” Mrs Triplett said.

“I am certainly not a fan of those Instagram lunches, I think it’s unrealistic.”

Mrs Triplett explained that although she bought expensive boxes, her strategy worked out more cost-effective.

Some mothers are putting extra effort into school lunches.© Little Bento World Some mothers are putting extra effort into school lunches. She bought food in bulk and could use the compartments inside the box to keep them separate, meaning no yoghurt pouches, no singular packets of anything.

“They’re an easy lunchbox,” she said.

“I save on shopping, and reduce waste through not needing any individual packaging, bulk buying things like popcorn.

"And I’ve had these lunchboxes for three years. I put them in the dishwasher, and they’re like new.”

She said "good on" mums who took the time to decorate the food they served their children, and wrote lovely messages on bananas.

“I cut my kids’ sandwiches into little pieces, using a special cutter,” she said.

“My kids thought it was awesome. Once.”

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