Study Shows Parents Are Stressing Over Lunches. Here’s Why

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photo: Elizabeth via Flickr

Back-to-school mornings can be hectic when you’re trying to wake, dress, feed and move-out-the-door a bunch of little ones. So it’s not really a surprise that a recent study found that parents reported “packing lunches” to be a stressful addition to the morning schedule.

The study, conducted by the lunch delivery company Wise Apple, found that 85 percent of parents were “stressed” when preparing and packing lunches for their kids, according to ABC News affiliate KSPR. And it’s not just because they’re struggling to find healthy options to stash inside bento boxes; many parents worry about allergies — either with their children or other kids in the classroom.

And there’s reason to worry. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education Inc., approximately one in 13 children — or roughly two kids in every classroom — have a food allergy. And, about 30 percent of kids with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.

“[My] oldest is allergic to dairy, peanuts, corn, soy and eggs,” Cheryl Li, a mother of two girls, told KSPR. “The youngest is allergic to corn, soy, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, any nightshades, any food dyes or artificial sweeteners, and both of them are allergic to gluten. I spent a couple of hours yesterday preparing food to go with us today.”

But even if you’re not fretting over food allergies, sending kids off to school with a balanced diet packed in their lunch boxes can be tricky.

“About half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, maybe a fourth whole grains, and fourth good lean, healthy proteins,” Mercy Hospital Registered Dietitian, Auvia Miller, said in the report.

Need some good ideas for lunches? Check out Red Tricycles Beyond the Boring Sandwich lunch ideas. And, check out these awesome bento boxes to make packing lunch a little less stressful!

Do you have any secrets for making lunch-packing easier? Tell us in the comments below. 

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