Everyone remembers what they had for school lunch. For some, juice-soaked sarnies and mini choccie bars were on the menu, for others it was a feast of pizza, chips and beans (after battling to the front of the lunch queue). Whatever filled those lunchboxes, it’s a hot topic of conversation. To keep things interesting, we asked three mummy bloggers – The Mothership and My Little Loves – and two food photographers – Makiti and Peace of Bake – what they remember about their midday marvels. Here’s what they had to say:
I won’t lie, school dinners in 1980s Northumberland were not the culinary highlight of my life. From bottles of milk that were either frozen solid or worryingly warm, to rice pudding with a thick skin, it was grim up north. You know it’s bad when sloppy mince and instant mash are the highlight of the week. Then came high school, and it was all chips with cheese and beans, cans of Coke and Boost bars – okay, that was pretty good while our metabolism could handle it. But as soon as we could drive, we were out of the school gates for lunch…
My memories of lunches at school growing up in Australia are all fun. My box itself was a Holly Hobby and I loved it for years. Parents always put in fun treats as they knew we would be given a healthy dinner when we got home – I guess they felt less judged back then! My favourite lunch was fairy bread – basically 2 slices of white bread with butter and 100’s & 1000’s sprinkled on top. I am pretty sure if I gave my little ones that now they would wonder whether I’d forgotten to go to Spinneys. We always had fruit and a yogurt thrown into the mix but I do remember thinking if you got a chocolate yogo, you must have had rich parents! Isn’t it funny what you remember!
My kids love finding wraps or spinneysFOOD Cheese baps in their lunch boxes. On days that I have forgotten to stock up on items – we call these ‘Pick and Mix’ days – I make a bento box of fruit, crackers, hummus, cheese, chicken and their favourite lunchbox item, Mini Oreos!
One of my fondest memories is opening my lunchbox to discover that my mom packed special heart-shaped sandwiches! So much love!
I grew up vegetarian and my mother would always struggle to find ways to sneak in veggies on a daily basis. The sprouted salad almost always made an appearance in my school lunch, it had green gram sprouts with chopped carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and bell pepper mixed with coriander, lemon juice and salt. Every so often she would switch the sprouts with corn or replace the carrot with beetroot. It was always the most colourful thing in my lunch and I looked forward to it every day.
If you’ve now got kids of your own and need to be creative with school lunches, we’ve expert tips on how to create a perfectly balanced lunchbox.