Lunch box sham­ing is real for NT par­ents

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - JU­DITH AISTHORPE

THE pres­sure of pro­vid­ing a nu­tri­tious lunch has par­ents highly stressed that they are pack­ing the wrong foods for their kids.

New re­search shows mak­ing lunches is a mine­field with the lunch box “po­lice” rul­ing that pack­ing up the left­overs from last night’s dinner is a big fail.

“Many par­ents are shocked to learn that foods they per­ceive to be health­ier op­tions such as the low-fat ver­sion of yo­ghurt or milk and pre-pack­aged meals are ac­tu­ally not healthy or nu­tri­tious,” ac­cred­ited di­eti­tian Kate Save said.

Lo­cal mum to three daugh­ters Lorraine Palmer said the school her chil­dren at­tended had re­quested no junk food – and even pop­pers were dis­cour­aged.

“Some­times we put a lit­tle treat in. The school has never said any­thing,” she said.

“You do feel like you are be­ing pres­sured, like you are be­ing judged.”

Ms Palmer said she packed her chil­dren fruit, a sand­wich and crack­ers or a wrap and a muesli bar.

More than 1000 par­ents were sur­veyed for the Capi­lano Fam­ily Nu­tri­tion Re­port, which found that more than one in 10 had been made to feel guilty by a teacher or fel­low par­ent over their child’s lunch.

Many par­ents are clue­less as to daily di­etary rec­om­men­da­tions.

Al­most two-thirds did not know how many serves of veg­eta­bles a child aged 4-8 should be eat­ing, and three-quar­ters were stumped for ages 9-11.

Pic­ture: MICHAEL FRANCHI

The Palmer fam­ily – So­phie, 7, Elise, 3, Lorraine, and Olivia, 8 – eat healthy

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