5 Reasons it was Easier to Pack School Lunches in the 80’s


School Lunches in the 80's1. No one fed their children healthy food.

Once upon a time in the 80’s,  moms threw lunch-sized bags of greasy, salty potato chips and an individual chocolate pudding “snack pack” into a bag and called it a day! The amazing thing is that they felt  NO GUILT!  It never occurred to these moms that they should prepare bento boxes of homemade kale chips or should pay twice as much for organic gummy snacks made of real fruit juice with stevia. These moms never felt shame in sending their child to school with a “lunchable” and never felt like they deserved a “job well done” when sending them with chia seed squeeze-packs and dehydrated seaweed snacks. 

2. Peanut Butter was not a biohazard. 

I’m not being insensitive. I can only imagine how challenging and nerve-wracking to have a child with a peanut allergy. My heart goes out to these moms! But… oh my gosh, how easy it must have been to pack lunches in the days of peanut-butter? PB&J’s, peanut-butter crackers, peanut-butter granola bars, ants on a log… 

3. Brown Bag lunches came in brown bags.

It must have been tough to be a tree in the eighties. The threat of being cut down and made into a lunch bag was a real fear! Now however the trees are safe and the moms are not.  (And don’t tell me that it’s a good thing because the lunches are better insulated. Frankly, I don’t care at what temperature my children’s lunches are served to them.) I know all these resuable products are great for the earth and all but imagine mothering in a day when you threw a couple of ziplocs into a brown bag and NOTHING CAME HOME! Now moms spend their afternoons washing yogurt and cheddar bunny crumbs out of the inner corners of reusable lunchbags. They also waste an entire load load of the diswasher cleaning the 4-7 (per child) individual snack, sandwich, and drink containers that must be provided along with the resuable lunch bag. (all BPA free of course!) 

4. There was no Pinterest. 

Nothing illustrates the complex, love/hate relationship of Mothers and Pinterest like the endless boards found under the heading “Lunch Box Ideas” I love my children. I want them to enjoy their lunch. But I’m busy! I’m way, way, way to busy to do ANY of the following ideas:

  • Use broccolini, cilantro, and dinosaur chicken nuggets to transform a bento box into an inspiring jurassic-era nature scene
  • Waste half a sandwich using a cookie cutter to turn it into a pirate ship
  • Anything seasonal. I will not make a bell pepper look like a monster in October nor slice strawberries in heart-shapes in February.
  • Attempt to make anything in their lunch look like Olaf
  • Download, and cut-out free chevron bordered printable jokes, fun-facts, or lunchtime puns to include with their meals.  (I do hope you like your fruit cup berry, berry much, but I’m not printing that out for you!)
  • Any ideas where blue jello is supposed to represent the ocean
  • Any ideas where sliced hard boiled eggs are sliced to look like eyes balls.
  • Any ideas where pretzels are used to express make math fun or create a religion symbol

5. I was not the mom. 

How great was it when someone else bought, prepared, and packed my lunch and all I had to do was complain about it?! The good old days! 




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