An Open Letter to My Kids About Their Lunches

  1. Kate says:

    If you don’t make these cute and adorable meals, then what will you ever post on facebook and Instagram?!?!
    I’m not sure what’s more annoying….looking at these on pinterest, or looking at pictures/reading posts about how much someone’s kid “LOOOVES their spinach/kale/oatmeal/walnut smoothie.” Really??

    • ockeghem says:

      My kid actually does like her green smoothie, but then, so do I. It’s got kiwi, apple and banana in it (and yes, some spinach but not that much). It takes me about 5 minutes to make. She gets it like once every three months, which is when I have time on a weekend to think about making it. The other stuff…nope, not going there. She doesn’t even *like* sandwiches; dressing it up as a squirrel isn’t going to change that.

    • Mommaof two says:

      my sons are very picky eaters (one has anorexia) and they love their green smoothies. I use lettuce and/or spinach, banana, and frozen fruit. If you get past the color, it just tastes like a fruit smoothie. They drink one everyday.

  2. laflacad says:

    yeah I wrote something similiar back in 2010 before pinterest. it seems to have gotten worse now. http://laflacad.blogspot.com/2010/08/recycling-old-posts-school-lunch-my.html

  3. lauriewrites says:

    OMG the banana dolphins.

  4. Nunu Hurt-Doyle says:

    ok, you have got me ROLLING today.

  5. Nunu Hurt-Doyle says:

    nah. gah. dah. hahahhahahahaaa!!!!! hahahhahaha!!!

  6. Carrie says:

    The kitten? Ridiculous? Are these really lunches or museum exhibits?
    Don’t forget – Groundhog’s Day is coming up!

  7. alimartell says:

    My kids would eat exactly none of these foods, which works out perfectly because I would never make food shaped like wildlife…or bearded men?

  8. pamhousewivesoffrederickcounty says:

    Hilarious. You are right, ain’t nobody got time for that! This is as far as I’ve ever gone (see attached picture). I have to admit, it did make my son smile.

    • ockeghem says:

      Yeah, I made it that far on Christmas day, too (sans marshmallows). But that was because I was already making pancakes and bacon, so all I had to do was pour two pancakes together.

      • pamhousewivesoffrederickcounty says:

        Exactly. That’s what made it so easy. These were frozen pancakes too! I got the mini ones for the head.

  9. Erin says:

    Seems like it took more time to write a post complaining about it than it would take to make one of these lunches. *shrugs* Just saying. Some people probably enjoy doing this. Others don’t. Let’s just move on.

  10. babybloomr says:

    This is a thing now? People do this? Here’s what my girl’s lunches looked like in elementary school: a lunch ticket. And I’m thinking Mozart’s hair is made out of olive loaf. Or suet. Either way… *shudders violently*

  11. buffi says:

    Okay, clearly, I am never, ever doing this. My kids have to make their own damn lunches now after bitching about how I made them.

    Also, I thought Simba was Bambi. And I thought the Duck Dynasty was Jesus wearing a headband. I may need to up my meds.

  12. J. Sanford says:

    My kids actually do enjoy a green smoothie here and there…if you make it right it just tastes like fruit juice =)

  13. Merideth Block says:

    Most of these are from Japan. You see rice balls (onigiri), tofu, and seaweed in bento boxes in almost all of them. The grey stuff which is Mozart’s wig is probably fish cake. When I was a housewife there, I was surprised that I wasn’t ejected from the country because I wouldn’t do this either. However, I do have to say that being a housewife is very much considered a profession, and they do take this very seriously.

  14. Mandy says:

    My eight year old son and I just got the BEST laugh out of this post! I’ve been instructed to make the real hot dog now. *sigh* Nah. Gah. Dah.

  15. lula says:

    Some of those lunch boxes are Japanese so maybe a Japanese kid would appreciate them. The characters too. They are so cute too look at. I wouldn’t make them either…

  16. Mamma says:

    It’s ironic that you have the time to write a blog about how you don’t have time to make a special lunch. Thanks for the ideas, I’m trying them tonight!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Pace yourself…

    • Sherene says:

      It’s about priorities and interests, not time. Instead of ‘ain’t got time for that’ she should say ‘can’t bother with that’ which is fine. I can’t bother with making those things either.

  17. Megan A. Natherson says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for the laugh this morning!

  18. Ellyn Kunich Wheeless says:

    um these are cute if you buy them in Disney for 6 prices but I dont know if I could ever have time for this though the pear and grapes with blueberries would be ok. to much work

  19. Oh!Bento UK says:

    Clearly a lot of people do have time to make these and so what if they do.

    Everyone had a hobby, wether it be making cool looking lunches or sat writing bitchy posts because you feel threatened.

    I very much doubt however your posts benefit people as much as the hobby of making food children enjoy.

  20. I love lunches too says:

    Can you at least give credit to Wendolonia for the Star Wars lunch? Thanks!

    http://wendolonia.com/blog/2013/05/02/star-wars-lunch-ideas-for-your-little-jedi/

  21. Justine says:

    lol, I love it!

  22. Yvonne Rhinehart says:

    As much as I wouldn’t make any of these lunches either, I couldn’t imagine shaming people who do. It seems to me that this post actually insinuates people who do have no life. I’m sure they lead very busy lives as well. We all lead different lives with different lifestyles so let neither side shame the other for being less.

  23. Lauri says:

    I am SOOOO tired of the mom-bashing! Can’t you just admit that this is a hobby you don’t “understand” and so you don’t want to do it? I don’t understand the interest in the character “Strawberry Shortcake” but I sure as hell wouldn’t disparage anyone who likes her. Lots of people have hobbies, some of them knit, some people scrapbook, some like to cook. What your post reeks of though is that you have a not-so-secret disdain for parents who do something SPECIAL for their kids. Take a look at what you do that’s special for your kids…do you do something special just for them? Now think about how that would feel if someone publicly tried to shame you for it! And if you don’t do anything special just for your kids then you have a whole other thing going on, and hey, that’s your choice. My mom would rather have lopped of her right arm then do anything to make me feel special. – Lauri Fitzsimmons

  24. Beau Coffron says:

    Some people actually have fun doing this for and with their kids. Some parents draw, some go to the gym, some watch sports all Sunday, and some spend hours searching Pinterest. If you don’t want to do it, thats fine but its all about priorities. No one is coming down on you for your hobbies. I also guarantee that you could have a fun lunch for your kids in half the time it took you to research and write this post. You chose to write a blog post instead. Thats fine, its your choice.

    As a dad, who has three kids and works 50-60 hours a week, and who makes fun and healthy lunches once a week for my daughter, I have fun with it. It also helps us connect. I started doing it for something special for her while she had lunch at school. It was other parents that wanted me to share ingredients and directions for the lunches on my blog. lunchboxdad.com, and across social media. Plus, my daughter would tell you that because I have included fruits and vegetables in fun shapes it has helped her try healthy things that she wouldn’t have otherwise.

    So before going and slamming parents for doing this why don’t you just say, “thats great for you, but I choose to spend my time on other things.” Oh I know, because it doesn’t get you traffic like a post such as this does. But I’m sure you’re not as interested in pageviews as those Babble.com bloggers.

  25. Hatersgonnahate says:

    I don’t how you could have time for fun lunches, you are clearly very busy finding out which nude lipstick is best. I am SO GLAD that SOMEONE has their priorities straight. You are a sorry, petty little girl, Lindsay.

  26. Loving Lunches says:

    Oh, I love that Mozart lunch! Pity you didn’t bother to link to the true source. A little digging and I found this site:

    http://ricocoblog.seesaa.net/article/20064101.html

    Isn’t it marvellous how there are online translate program these days? Seems this lunch was made from:

    ● drawing food

    Ham, boiled kelp, sardine minced fish heaven, baked egg white, egg Usuyaki, paprika (red), white fungus, star-shaped gold leaf

    ● side dish

    Fried vegetables and bacon, boiled egg, tofu hamburger, salmon and lemon, Yukari spa, asparagus, strawberries

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful fun lunches! Love them!!

  27. Terry says:

    Tears are rolling down my face right now. Girl you are FUNNY!

  28. mommieof4 says:

    Again, ain’t nobody got time for that!

  29. LOVE. This is the post I’ve been writing in my head for months now, though I’m pretty sure yours is way funnier than mine would’ve been. All I managed to do was start a Pinterest board of “Impossible Bento Boxes.” 😉

  30. suburbanturmoil says:

    Bambi, Simba… They all look the same to me! 😉

  31. ₭iTi฿elle says:

    I’m that mom! Or at least I’d like to be, and posts like this simplify thing with the helpful links to instructions. I don’t do it everyday, and let’s face it, at some point you have to give it up unless you want your 14 year old ditching their lunch on the way to school.

    But here’s the thing, DON’T HATE. Everyone has their own forte – mine is definitely not being a soccer mom, nor having the cleanest house, nor being the workout diva. I’d love to do those things, but I have to embrace ME and ignore the impulse to do everything that-other-mom is doing. OWN who you are. I’m speaking mainly to those commenting. I think Lindsay is doing a great job owning herself and posting this tongue-in-cheek blog which I love.

    I’m off now to pin all of these instructions and make my shopping list for next week’s lunches!

    • My girls are grown now, but when I occasionally made these they loved them- and I had to make extra because all the other kids wanted them. Oh, and they were high schoolers. (I didn’t make weird looking people, just kabobs or stuck cookie cutters through their fruit, cut their tortilla rolls into spirals, that kind of thing). Mostly it was just fun- they would always take enough for at least half a dozen or so people, and I knew those apples and whole grain sandwiches weren’t getting tossed in the trash, which I often saw when I volunteered.

  32. Danielle says:

    I could not imagine fashioning my children’s food into cutesie animals. I really just don’t need their approval that badly. Of course I like getting ‘mom-points’ but I do that with cookies and tater tots like a lazy/normal person. I will say that we do green smoothies. It makes me feel better about myself when I can get my kids to drink some vegetables… and then I feel no guilt about the previously mentioned cookies and tater tots. It is all about balance. A balance that Mozart made out of lunch meat has no part of in my world.

  33. Rikki says:

    Hi! I’m totally “that mom” and I love it. I make fun lunches for my daughter everyday and it’s such a fun creative outlet for me. Plus my daughter eats a little better when I make it fun so it’s a win win. you could have probably made a fun lunch like some of these in the time it took you to write this blog post, by the way. 🙂

    • Diana Cote says:

      Agreed Rikki! 🙂 To each to their own but because some parents put the time and effort into it, because they enjoy it or their child enjoys it is no reason to put them down. my priorities involve making delicious meals that looks appealing and fun, i don’t know why that would mean i have no life or have too much time on my hands or that i am spoiling her (i teach her to cook)… it just means this is a priority to me, i take pleasure in it and i would rather do that than watch television or browse the internet. putting others down, just makes you look insecure and that you are jealous. if you do the best for your self and your family that’s all that matters, don’t little others to feel better, its ugly!

  34. michaeltuchman says:

    Hilarious. Lifeboat idea is not too bad though.

  35. Jem Jem says:

    I actually enjoyed reading the comments more than looking at the pictures lol

  36. I always wonder what kind of super beings make lunches like the above. My poor unloved children made there own as soon as they could find a way to reach the kitchen counter.

  37. Andrea B. says:

    For a very short while I thought I was turning into the cool mom who makes fun lunches. Sorta. Kinda. And yet. I NEVER got this crafty or creative. I might have made our own lunchables with circle cookie cutters for the turkey. It worked. And I was done. But this is hilarious. Love your take.

  38. Beth Labonte says:

    I read a How To in Parents Magazine a few months back about this kind of crap. I was so annoyed I wrote a similar blog post: http://www.secretary4life.com/2013/09/ridiculous-food-art.html Bad enough that they think we have the time for this stuff, but the kid is just going to tear it about in 30 seconds!

  39. Kristin Koolkin Magnant says:

    my constant, nagging thought through every picture…isn’t the bread all soggy??!!

  40. white girl in japan says:

    First, let me say that I thought your post was really funny. I also tend toward hyperbole when I’m trying to be funny.

    Also, you posted a lot of Japanese photos, which, obviously, feature Japanese foods. Some people (even non-Japanese ones) like Japanese food! Maybe someday even your kids will enjoy onigiri (rice balls wrapped in seaweed, which is what that Playstation controller is). I used to hate them, but now they’re one of my favorite foods. 😛

    Also also, that stuff used to make Mozart’s hair is probably fish cake, which is extremely popular in Japan.

    Also also also, I think a lot of moms do this because it allows them to be creative doing something they have to do anyway. I don’t have kids, but I do make bento and I belong to lots of bento groups online. I do it because it’s fun. If it’s not fun for you, ok…but is this really so confusing? I bet everyone here has hobbies…I bet not everyone finds those hobbies fun.

    However, it should be noted that, in Japan, making attractive, well-balanced bento for your kids is not really an option. In schools that don’t serve lunch, kids must bring them, and people judge moms who don’t put effort into the task pretty harshly. Not everyone makes character bento, but other kids will give you a ton of crap if your mom half-asses your lunch.

    Anyway, take a deep breath. Most American kids don’t seem to like it when their parents send them to schools with “weird” lunches, so yours will probably never ask for this (see? not wanting to stand out is a universal characteristic of kids).

  41. Gail Pubols says:

    Whoa! The hate here! I get it that the original post was kind of tongue in cheek, but wow, judge much? Just because you might have a different way of being creative or relieving stress, please don’t put down the moms that choose to make their kids smile at lunchtime instead of scrapbooking, knitting, watching tv, doing crosswords, or whatever does float your boat. These lunches are not really that hard to do if you do some mental pre-planning. I do have a life, thank you very much, and it does include kind of fun lunches for my kiddos. Because it is fun for me, and they think it’s pretty neat, too. (and it gets them to eat more, too).

  42. August says:

    The way my kids toss their lunchboxes and carry them around swinging them, even if I wanted to do these things, they wouldn’t survive the first five minutes after leaving the counter. What an utter waste of time!

    And I thought the Duck Dynasty guy was Jesus too, although I was confused about the headband. 🙂

  43. Melissa says:

    I love the cover photo, how there’s one random gummy candy in the middle of the lunch box. Any kid I know would be all “What the hell, Mom???”

  44. DigitalStatic says:

    I don’t have a child of my own, but I did introduce my roommate’s daughter to CthulhuPeeps (Take green bunny peeps, turn them upside down, slice the ears the long way… instant marshmallowy elder gods!)

  45. Tonia says:

    You have made my evening. I have laughed until I cried reading this, the PBK & RH posts.

    To think I thought my sister and I were special because our mom pricked our first initial in our pot pies so we could tell them apart when we were kids!

  46. Meredith says:

    hahahaha! So freaking hilarious.

  47. Dee says:

    Take it back about green smoothies! That’s the only way I can get my toddler to eat his greens.

  48. Patryk Ploszaj says:

    Wow, great. Unfortunately, the point about what NOT to feed our children seems to be completely missed in this article and American culture – for the most part. Gogurt? Hotdogs? Gold Fish crackers? 🙂 I’d rather make a Mozart lunch for my daughters every day for the rest of my life, than feed them these unfortunately omnipresent chemicals. Life may get in the way of cutting carrot flowers, but not feeding kids shit.

  49. Seana Yates says:

    Even if I did spend the time to make it look like something, they toss that lunchbox around like Jim Carrey in the opening scene of Pet Detective. By the time they get around to eating it, it’s just a pile of food.

  50. DP2010 says:

    Gingerbread houses are still having a life, though, right?

  51. gstorm says:

    hysterically awesome!!

  52. preesi says:

    THIS IS VERY VERY SAD!
    I was only blessed with one child and my life during his first 10 years was hard so i never got to do this shit. but I had planned on it and its so sad there are people out there that dont want to do it,

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      You’re right. I WILL make a Mozart lunch for my child. I WILL. Thank you, preesi, for setting my priorities straight!

  53. Jodi Muirhead says:

    Not even on their birthday??

  54. brit says:

    Uh yea, not so much, lol. My kid takes lunch at least 3 days out of 5 but it’s pb & j and then lots of raw veggies & fruit. We even own a couple of bento boxes but only because it’s handy that they have so many dividers, this momma is not spending lots of time cutting shapes and making characters.

  55. Samantha Shank says:

    I think spending so much time on a lunch is dumb and stupid.

    But this post was also pretty stupid.

  56. haeleyd says:

    I have to disagree with you about one thing here. I drink pb banana spinach smoothies all the time. You really can’t taste the spinach (does not work with kale! Yuck!). I hate healthy tasting smoothies and this just tastes like a pb/ banana milkshake (I peel and freeze my bananas so I don’t have to add ice cause that ruins the milkshake effect). Give it a shot 🙂

  57. Virginia says:

    Fred’s Used cars. I’m dying.

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