Isn’t it enough that we have to pack a lunch box and recess every week day? Not only do we have to worry about fussy kids, nut allergies, egg and gluten intolerances, but now the school lunch box police are dishing out strict lists of what parents can and can’t pack in lunch boxes.

The lunch box police have been around for a while now but they seem to be getting stronger and more ridiculous as the years go by. Now together with a uniform and stationery list, schools are also handing out lunch box lists and are downright banning a whole heap of food, leaving parents seething.

Asking parents not to pack nuts – yes, I totally get that. But schools do not have any right to tell me that I can’t give my kids a treat in their lunch box if I choose to do so. It is my prerogative as a parent to pack what I want in my child’s lunch – it’s not harming anyone else and I really think schools need to stop focusing on this.

They have ZERO Right To Tell Me What To Feed My Kids!

OK, if I am packing a lunch box filled with packets, lollies and chocolate and zero fresh fruit and veggies, a teacher may gently suggest that I vary things up a bit. But to be honest, they shouldn’t be able to force me. How do they not know that I don’t feed them a plate full of broccoli when they get home from school?

I have seen various posts on Lunch Box groups on Facebook, where parents are in a tizz as schools have sent out harsh lists of what ingredients parents can’t include. Some of the items are absolutely ridiculous, illogical and make no sense.

What Nonsense!

One mum posted a list that she had received from her school and posted it in the Lunchbox Ideas Australia group. The items on the “NO! NO! NAUGHTY MUMMY! DON’T YOU DARE EVEN THINK ABOUT PACKING THIS” list included:

  • muesli bars
  • crackers (such as jatz, cheds or shapes)
  • packaged chees dips and crackers
  • yoghurt pouches / tubes
  • milk drinks

Of course, cake, chocolates, lollies, icing, biscuits and juice boxes were also on the banned list.

Pic Via Facebook

Just Illogical

The odd thing is that pikelets, fruit muffins, jam, h0ney are allowed – it just doesn’t seem logical to me at all. Also, yoghurt is allowed, but yoghurt pouches aren’t! Just absurd!

The School Lunch Police Would Put Me In Jail

I seriously would be the worst offender at this school. I love my chocolate and lollies but I try to eat a (generally) healthy diet with treats in moderation. And my kids follow a similar kind of eating plan. I always include a small treat in my kids lunchbox – along with a mix of fruit, veggies and a sandwich. Do we honestly believe that none of those teachers at that school ever have a piece of chocolate or a cupcake for their morning tea? It’s hypocritical and unrealistic and it’s certainly not teaching our kids a good way to balance good food with sometimes food. Outright banning it is just making the kids want it more and making the parents mad.

Help! I Need Help!

The mum who posted a picture of the lunchbox list implored from other parents:

“Can I have some lunch box ideas, This is what my son can and can’t take to school, Also yes I know it’s strict and some things are ridiculous that they can’t have, but I have to make do and work around it!”

The post attracted over 500 comments, with most parents blasting the school for being so draconian.

For me, the most classic comment was one from a mum saying that she had gone to that school. Another mum replied with a cheeky comment: “How’s your diet these days…”
and the mum replied: “hahaha! I eat all the bad stuff!” So clearly the school’s ridiculous demands don’t work….

bad lunchbox lunch box
Almost everything in this lunch box would be on the naughty list

Shocked And Disgusted!

Most mums were just disgusted at the absurdity of the list:

“It’s a school not a bloody health retreat ,” said one.

“Oh jeeze this is so strict. My daughter would starve with this list,” said another.

“Oh gosh my sensory son would starve.  all he eats at school is chips, muesli bars and pouches.”

“What happened to moderation! This is just promoting bad eating habits!”

Is This A Joke?

“That’s a joke! I understand soft drinks but the rest of the list is nothing short of a joke! My child would’ve starved! Your poor thing having to deal with that!”

“I just read the list to my daughter and she asked…what are they meant to eat…grass?? Lol”

“Unless the school is going to feed your child they shouldn’t be telling what you can pack them (aside from allergies)”

“WTF. I’d be pulling my kids out of there. That’s micromanaging 101. Ridiculous. They don’t have the right to dictate what you feed your children.”

Don’t Let The School Lunch Box Police Scare You!

One mum suggested:
“Pack what you want!! You are the parent!”

However other parents said that it doesn’t work like that, at these kind of schools and the forbidden items gets removed from the lunch box and the kid may have to go hungry.

I Support The School! (There’s Always One!)

Of course, there are always one or two that went against the grain and supported the school in their endeavours:

One mum said:
“Try writing a list of recommended foods to suit most kids and situations as well as healthy and removing waste issues and let’s see what you come up with…not as easy as you think!
I applaud the school for trying to set some good eating habits for kids & parents we need more of it!”

And another:
“I have to say I’m impressed with the school guidelines – only because I would probably think I was strict but I’m actually not if you go by this list. I agree that the kids will thank us later – we have to work for it.”

But this opinion was definitely in the minority!

But Wait….There’s More….

Another mum posted a very similar list from her school and shared:

“My son has his first day of kindergarten on Monday. Looking for some idea on what i can pack him for lunch / snacks.

This is a list of what he can and can’t have. I have asked about fruit and savoury muffins and stuff such as banana bread and its not allowed. He has sensory processing disorder so very fussy…”This post too attracted hundreds of comments, with most parents disgusted at the school’s overly-firm attitude towards food.

food list3
Pic Via Facebook

It’s Just Nuts!!!

Many parents were shocked that nuts are allowed, saying the majority of schools these days are nut-free.

“Haha nah sorry I’d still pack my kid chips. Your child not theirs”

“I understand the healthy eating habits etc but they also need to be teaching children that it’s okay to eat chips etc as a sometimes food and that everything is okay in moderation. Limited and telling parents what they can and can’t pack is ridiculous and honestly if that came home for my son I wouldn’t take any of it on board lol one packet of chips isn’t going to kill the child!”

“I’d have to homeschool, my kid wouldn’t survive!”

“What the hell, why can’t he have muffins and cakes, they can be made healthy. You can also make healthy roll ups and healthy muesli bars.. I really can’t stand school that dictate what you can and can’t send for your children.”

“This is crossing a line I reckon. It’s not up to them to dictate what a child eats or doesn’t eat. I understand the no nut policy etc but this list is just wayyyy too OTT.”

“What a stupid list! If my child was attending a school that gave me a list like that, I’d be out of there!”

I Will Pack What I Want!

“Nothing annoys me more than kindy’s and schools dictating what a child can and cannot eat!
My theory has and always will be this: I will send whatever food that MY child WILL eat! End of story!”

YES, we 100% agree!

One mum was pretty adamant about the way she would handle the situation if she was sent this note:

“I’d be sending what he will eat, put a note in his lunchbox inviting anyone who has a problem to contact you about it, not to discuss/shame in front of others the contents of the lunchbox. This is a huge gripe of mine. Schools at there to teach, so do it. Stay the heck out of my kids’ lunch boxes. (Obviously when there’s an allergy in the class I can understand that food not being allowed, but this list is nothing to do with allergies)!”

I really do feel that the school lunchbox police are demanding and out of control. They need to focus on teaching our kids and leaving our lunch boxes alone!

How would you react if you received a note like this from your school? Do you have school lunch box police ruling the roost? Tell us in the comments below.

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • I say bring in school lunches


  • The school
    Is trying to school the parents please keep it to the kids


  • Foods welcome nuts .. ummm no .
    But hey ours takes Nutella on her sandwich .
    Sorry but when they pay my bills then they can tell me what to feed the kids .
    Miss 9 takes a weeks worth of snacks every day.
    God love autism. Yes she does not know what she wants till she see it .
    Plus since the being of last year she has had the same 10 dollars for the canteen in case she wants something .
    Now lunch sandwich and apple juice in her drink bottle . Fruit .
    Mind you it’s nuttella but it works for me .
    I am not putting up with crying etc of a morning .
    Maybe the school should worry about who has not got fruit for fruit break .
    And does not have school supplies .
    Really it’s not hard .
    She is in full school uniform
    Has everything they have asked for plus extra because some people cannot afford .
    School fees are paid .
    So yes we had to chase her class aid even though the funding is there .
    But they want to go through her lunch box ..
    I would be more concerned about trying to get rid of the nits In The school .
    Oh no they are not allowed to look in the hair but can stick their beak in a lunch box .
    Something is very wrong with this


  • I am so glad I dont have to worry about school lunchboxes. Teachers and schools have way overstepped boundaries


  • Can’t we just be happy our kids eat. If it’s such a problem why doesn’t school supply “proper” food so that parents don’t stress over ridiculous things


  • At least they have given a good list of ideas.


  • I don’t get why no pouches?


  • recommendations are okay as long as they are polite, but at the end of the day, everyone has to own their own choices and go with what is also do able for them.


  • I saw on the news that in South Australia they are banning fruit this term because of fruit fly, so that narrow the choice down even more!!


  • It’s this kind of stuff that makes me anxious for next year when my daughter starts


  • I no longer have a child in school, but I would think that as long as a parent is sensible about what they feed their child both at school and at home there shouldn’t be any problems.


  • There are lots of these lists floating around at the moment. It would be interesting to see why they are written – or the evidence base that is used. There is now a lot of research to show that artificial colours do not cause hyperactivity, yet this myth persists (generally a lot of food that have these also have other ingredients that aren’t good for us anyway). I am sure we could all agree that as a society as a whole we are eating too much sugar, refined and processed foods, fat, etc. However, we as a society are also living exponentially busy lives. Surely balance is the key?


  • I wouldn’t be happy with this. We are the parents, not them, and we certainly know what is good for our kids – some items on the ‘not allowed’ list are just ludicrous!


  • I’d be fuming if I received a note like that. My kids are super fussy, but do take a variety of foods that I know they’ll eat. My children’s primary school have a fruit break which I think is awesome.


  • My youngest will take homemade muffins, cake, and biscuits because mine are healthy ones, even if they don’t look it.
    I will always pack a treat snack plus fruit


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating