Mum hits back after being shamed over daughter's 'too grown-up' lunch box

A mum who proudly showed off the "grown-up" lunch box she makes her 4-year-old online has been brutally shamed over the elaborate meal.

The mum shared a snap of her daughter's bento-style lunch, revealing she sends her to school with a healthy meal made up of cheese and ham sandwiches alongside a mix of shelled pistachios, seaweed crackers, pretzels, snow peas, almonds and whole grapes.

"My 4-year-old girl has recently started school. And here I'm smashing the lunch box competition," the Perth woman wrote in the Lunch box Ideas Australia Facebook group.

But fellow parents in the group were quick to judge the mum's meal, declaring it "too grown up" as their 4-year-olds only eat "chicken nuggets".

"Just wait until you have teenagers and send them to school with a lunch box like this. How embarrassing mum," one said.

While another questioned how a 4-year-old is able to shell their own pistachios, insisting it was an inappropriate food choice for a child.

But after receiving a string of negative comments, the mum hit back with a photo of another lunch she had prepared for her child, insisting she would continue making her daughter healthy packed lunches.

"I would never expect that a lunch box could create that much controversy, criticism and conversation," she wrote.

"I'm blown away and weirdly motivated to keep posting my bentos".

This time her lunch box contained a homemade oat pancake with bacon and parmesan, a hard boiled egg, some broad beans, a half of avocado and feta cheese. She also tossed in some seaweed crackers, watermelon, and a few dried apricots.

"Yummy, isn't it?" she added.

Unlike her previous lunch box which was slammed for containing whole fruits and nuts that kids can choke on, this time the meal was received well.

"That looks great! I wish my son would eat that and I wish someone would pack me a lunch like that! Well done mumma," one said.

Another wrote: "Parenting goals."

She's not the only mum who has been shamed on Facebook over her kid's lunch box, with a mum criticised last week over a meal that made other parents "freak out".

The mum shared a photo of a packed lunch for her 2-and-a-half-year-old, asking for new ideas. She added her child was "really picky".

The lunch box was packed with tomatoes, cucumbers, popcorn, salt-free pretzels, cheese, gherkins and sandwiches with jam, and meat, as well as rice cakes and pizza sticks.

But the seemingly innocuous post quickly led to a heated debate, with a number of commenters criticising the mum, saying some of the food she'd packed was a choking hazard.

"Looks great! Just a heads up for next time, anything shaped like grapes, cherry tomatoes, etc should be quartered lengthwise," one mum commented on the post. "Whole grapes are the perfect size to get stuck in kiddo's windpipes!"

She followed it up with another comment after her post received a number of laugh reactions.

"Unsure why someone would laugh react. Not trying to be rude at all, just trying to spread info on how to keep our kids safe & healthy," she said with a smiley face emoji.

"I just freak out when I see whole grapes," another commented, adding she "just wouldn't take the chance".

"I said the same thing about the popcorn," another said.

Last year a paediatrician warned parents to cut their grapes in half – particularly if buying larger varieties.

Dr Luke Sammartino warned he'd seen cases where larger grapes had been swallowed whole by children and become lodged in their throats.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.