Did you ever get made fun of in the playground for what was in your lunchbox? I did. We were pretty poor, so I didn’t get anything exciting… ever. Peanut butter sandwich and two biscuits, or a no-frills muesli bar. Frozen cordial occasionally in my water bottle. Sometimes $2 for the tuckshop. I remember very clearly one day pulling a Flake chocolate bar out of my bag and someone looked over and said nastily “finally, you have actual food for lunch”.
Well, my friend Kate‘s daughter had a similar problem. She has mother who gets up every morning and bakes her girls a delicious treat for their lunchbox, and then got jibes in the playground when she ate it. Oh you have a home-made muesli bar? Well you suck, I’ve got a bag of doritos and a can of Coke, I’m WAY COOLER THAN YOU.
That’s tough for a little kid. You can teach them all the resilience in the world, but day after day of getting hassled over the contents of your lunchbox creates a whole lot of unnecessary drama and anxiety. School is hard enough without having to cop that too. Not to mention it’s good, proper, delicious food straight from a mama’s kitchen, and suddenly, that’s a thing to be derided. Your life must be miserable, your mum doesn’t give you Le Snaks.
Well, after hearing that her kid was eating lunch all by herself on one side of the hall while everyone else sat on the other side, Kate felt it was time to turn this situation around. So she started a blog with cool home-baked lunch treats and a healthy dose of “we’re not gonna let this beat us”. I like that. It’s a bit kickass, and if there’s anything that I admire in a person, it’s the ability to see the positive, and to change things that feel shit. Y
I made these super-delicious little lemon cakes for my girls (only I remembered that they have almond meal and therefore can’t go in any nut-free lunchboxes), and they loved them. I love lemon, and I much prefer an almond-meal-type cake thing than regular cake (it’s the texture, I think), so they’ve become a bit of a favourite here. I bet you will like them too.
You can find the recipe here, with much nicer photography than mine. Bake on, bitches!
*edited to add: Kate’s Lunch Lady blog ended up becoming the Lunch Lady Magazine – definitely one of my favourites, and the only magazine I never miss an issue of!