I saw this on another site this morning and although Emma makes some interesting points, she seems to be missing one of the key components.
What about the consumer?
It's all very well and good sending a Nadia Lim-esque lunchbox filled with expensive, fresh ingredients but if that is not what is within your picky child's comfort zone it's going to boomerang.
I am not advocating for processed foods but it's important that children eat when they are at school. No one can go 8 hours with no food and there are many parents struggling with this very issue daily.
Being away from home introduces challenges. The school environment is often not conducive to eating (time pressures, competing interests, overwhelming sensory stimuli etc.)
A processed food can be reassuring due to it's consistency. A cracker is familiar and is always going to look and taste the same. An apple can bruise, be soft, be tart or taste different.
There is a big difference between "can't" and "prefer" but having our child eat is more important than the what, at least initially. The lunchbox is not the place for learning.
Consistently not eating becomes habitual so for me, eating trumps content.
This is not to say apples, carrots etc. shouldn't go to school with your child, even if it's usually with a return ticket. But having choices that are familiar, comforting and get eaten is king.
It's always easy to judge from the outside but far more challenging to know what the dynamics are for another family. Let's consider the child-centric rationale for lunchbox contents too.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.