There are few parenting rites of passage like packing your kid's lunchbox. I don't know why this feels so "parental" to me, but it's something that just hits you when you're halfway through spreading the peanut butter and jelly. Like, I'm a grownup, with a kid, and I'm packing her lunch for school. It can be a sweet feeling until you're on the 10th day of doing it and you realize your kid is only sucking the juice out of the fruit cup and eating the cookie. Honestly, packing your kid's school lunch starts to lose its appeal once you're down to croutons and wrapping everything in foil because you need more baggies, but nothing beats these stock photos of moms making their kids' school lunches. Seriously, have you ever seen anything more #fakenews worthy than these photos?
OK, so stock images aren't known for being "real-life" depictions (Have you ever seen one of people in a meeting?), but these seriously take the cake. Well, not so much cake as sandwiches that have more lettuce than bread, vegetables no kid wants to see in their Batman thermos, and all the raw nuts. Seriously — so many raw nuts in these photos. Where are these kids going to school that A) there's not a rule for those with peanut allergies and B) where a giant bag of salted, roasted peanuts is considered a fine snack? Look, unless you're working on some lesson plan that involves elephants (Elephants eat peanuts, right?), then just throw a bag of Cheez-Its in there and call it a day.
1. Stay Thirsty, My Friends
Oh, where to begin here? It's not enough that Mom has chosen way too small of a lunchbox to hold all of that lettuce, plus what looks like a giant deli roll, and an apple, she's also making sure little Gretchen doesn't go thirsty with not one, not two, not even three, but five different drinks. First of all, where is your kid supposed to store all of these glasses full of milk, OJ, and what looks like fruit punch? Plus you're giving her a water bottle and a bottle of orange juice? This mom is extra... and not in a good way.
2. When You've Got To Head To The Woods Later, But Preschool Lunch Is First
First of all, those apples are totally going to brown before she even makes it out of the carpool line, and are we serious with peanuts and strawberries? Is she Little Red Riding Hood taking her sickly grandmother a basket of woodland-friendly provisions? Also, what school allows just a straight-up bag of peanuts like you're going to a Dodgers game? I'm not entirely sure what's in that bottle over there either. Some kind of juice made in your Vitamix that morning? $10 says she trades it for a Hostess cupcake by pretending it's strawberry milk.
3. Just Pure Sadness
More raw nuts. My kid wouldn't know what to do with a raw almond if I gave it to her, but I know exactly what she'd do with this lunch of apples, grapes, bananas, what looks like dried apricots (?), and sandwich that is more lettuce than anything — she'd Office Space it right out of her sight. To be fair, this is a healthy looking lunch, but man, does it look sad.
4. For The Mom Who Still Needs To Hit Up The Grocery Store
This kid's like, "OK, Mom. I only get 20 minutes to eat lunch, so two sandwiches full of lettuce is really too much. And while I'm looking at this, how about I leave you the cauliflower, peas, carrots, and... Mom, are these radishes? For God's sake, woman, just buy me a Lunchable next time."
5. Mm, Fiber
I hope you sent little Junior to school in easy-to-pull-down pants because with all those almonds, fiber-inducing crackers (two kinds, good grief), and fruit, he's going to need that bathroom pass a lot.
6. Ah, Bliss
LOL, making lunch with your kids in the morning looks nothing like this. Where's the mom throwing the half-empty bag from the Cheez-Its box at her kid as she's tuck-and-rolling out of the carpool line?
7. When Your Dad Started A Garden Over The Summer
"Look, your father's the one that started that organic deck garden and now you're the one who has to eat 75 pounds of tomatoes every day before they all rot on the counter." Two peaches, Mom? Two bananas? Grapes? An entire bag of trail mix and berries shoved into a Tupperware? You do realize your kid's going to spend at least 75 percent of their lunch break singing Muppet Babies songs, right?
8. I Don't Even Know Where To Begin
I just... I've packed hot dogs for lunch before, I'll admit it. But I cut them up and put them in Tupperware with some other kid-friendly finger foods. I do not layer them with tomatoes and purple leaf lettuce on what looks like a whole wheat hoagie bun. Also, does that one bun back there have two hot dogs in it? What the heck, Mom?
9. Dis Tew Much
Ha. K. Look, this is a first day of school lunch if I ever saw one, but even this mom went above and beyond. Maybe your kid will eat the cheese slices as eyes and the one (1) strawberry cut in half, but if you think they're going to eat that lettuce garnish or those tomatoes soaking through the bread all day or those... are those some kind of seeds for the eyes? Oh, Mama. Should've just made an owl fully out of cheese.
10. Variety Is The Spice Of Life
I... think that's supposed to be a cheese quesadilla? Except there's cheese cut up and laying on top of the tortilla with random olives and some kind of green garnish. Also there's normal stuff like blueberries and even carrots and cucumbers, but then there's a thing of meatballs? And almonds? You guys, I don't know what the heck is happening here.
11. Nice Try, Ma
"Shh. Don't tell my mom I'm not going to eat this entire head of lettuce she put with my bologna... or this chemistry beaker full of orange juice."
12. When You Need To Clean Out The Fridge
"OK, both of these apples and this orange are going to go bad, so let's stick them in Hannah's lunch. Also, find all the scraps we were saving for the compost and stuff them in her big Tupperware. Maybe some egg salad, too? That should do it."
13. I'm Just Mad This Isn't My Lunch
Because you can't possibly send your child to school with a salad, chicken, and collection of mixed nuts without Instagramming it on your artisan cutting board with gold utensils. I'm just mad that I'm eating a fistful of granola for my own lunch, OK?