You might start off sending your primary one child to school with a lunchbox stuffed with good intentions. But soon you're packing an apple that travels back and forward so often it could do the school run on its own.
And that's without an entire industry devoted to persuading your kids to demand crazy manufactured foods by pumping ads at them in bite-sized chunks between their TV programmes. Never mind saturated fat. What about saturation advertising: Dairylea Lunchables? Processed cheese, processed meat and a few crackers. Cheese Strings? I don't care if it is made without artificial colours or additives, cheese should not be stringy. Dunkers? The fact the gloop comes in "salt and vinegar", "pizza" and "smokey bacon" flavour says it all. All of these are specifically designed for lunch boxes and targeted at kids and their parents.
But what do I know? My children never take packed lunches because I don't put anything "good" in them. One of my sons has never forgiven me for ruining his playground cred with an avocado. They know I won't indulge their taste for biscuits, crisps or sweetened drinks and instead of a lunchbox full of tempting treats it'll be carrot sticks, grapes and peppers, so they'd much rather take their chances with a school dinner.
I'm happy to pass the buck and trust the dinner ladies to dish out a meal with a healthier balance of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables, and know that if they're hungry and cold enough, they'll eat it.