Trendspotting: A Loving Lunch

By , Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 9:01 am.

A mother might get away with forgetting the juice box a time or two, but shudder to think she’d neglect to tuck a note inside her child’s lunchbox before sending him off on the school bus one morning. Otherwise, it’s possible that her kid could be the only one without a syrupy sweet note to pass around the table come lunchtime. At least that’s the newest parental paranoia. Hand in hand with the national, and necessary, focus on children’s nutrition and self-esteem, there’s come a wave of bad press about the nonexistent nutritional value of most school lunches. Hence, the home-packed lunchbox has become a tangible symbol of “the good parent”—one who nourishes her offspring not only nutritionally but emotionally, too. This has left harried parents everywhere sweating bullets over their lunch-making efforts. In the meantime, mommy bloggers have become our new food bloggers, posting photographs of their kids’ drastically nutritious (read: destined to end up in the cafeteria trash) daily lunches. This demand for lunch perfection has given way to a supply of new, kid-friendly lunch products: items like bright bento-style boxes and designer lunch notes from Pottery Barn Kids and Toys “R” Us. Back when we were kids, the specialty of the house was good ole PB&J; no crusts, if Mom was feeling fancy.

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