Don’t Consult Pinterest For Preschool Lunch Ideas Unless You Want To Feel Like The Laziest Mom Alive

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The thought of preschool gives a lot of parents anxiety. Leaving your child in a building by himself for the first time and walking away, getting into your car, and driving off without him? Stressful, right? Sure, but it’s not the reason I was basically waking in a cold sweat over the thought of my child starting his first week of preschool. I was totally freaking about packing his first school lunch.

My son is three. He’s not a horrible eater or anything, but you know how kids are. One day he randomly loves something, the next day he hates it. He pretty much always loves peanut butter and jelly, so I figured that would be a safe bet. I visualized his first lunch box while lying awake in bed one night: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes, string cheese, apple juice. Done! Hmm. Still can’t sleep. Maybe I’ll get up and consult Pinterest to see what other moms do…

Why? Why did I do this? Here are a couple things that forced me to lay awake, wondering why I am such an uninspired, lazy mom.


Holy crap. What the hell is this? I just went to Target, bought a Spiderman lunchbox and an Elmo sandwich box and called it a day. It didn’t even cross my mind to make a medley of edamame, fresh peas and whatever other delightful things this mom shoved into an ice tray. This is brilliant. I’m just a little worried about the message this sends his new teachers, which I’m pretty sure is I don’t fucking care that you are going to have to clean this all off the floor.


Okay, this is basically what I am making my child for lunch – only way better. This lunch is giving me an inferiority complex. Also, it’s making me feel like a philistine, because I thought it was Keith Haring inspired. Nope, Matisse. How can I confidently send my child to school with lunch if I can’t even appropriately identify Henri Matisse’s “Dancers” in sandwich form?

preschool lunch

Pinterest/ Kristina


Did you know that once your child is in preschool, food can’t be shaped like food anymore? Your lunch should have a theme and nothing should be in it’s organic form. Sandwiches are dolphins now. You see an orange, but someone who loves their kid more sees a boat.

The preschool lunch – just another way to realize that you are doing it all wrong, moms.



  1. CMJ

    May 7, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Seriously though, does a preschooler give a fuck if their sandwich is in the shape of a dolphin? I’ve seen what my nieces do to their food…and it is not pretty.

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      May 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Eat dolphin! Save the Tuna!

    • Mystik Spiral

      May 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      It’s all about bragging on pinterest. The kids don’t give a shit. #mommysuperioritycomplex

  2. Ashley Austrew

    May 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I used a cookie cutter to cut my kid’s sandwich into the shape of a heart the other day. She gaveth not a fuck.

    • Valerie

      May 7, 2014 at 10:42 am


    • Maria Guido

      May 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I made an Elmo shaped sandwich for my son once. He didn’t even notice. I stood there for 5 minutes saying, LOOK. IT’S ELMO. ELMO. LOOK!!! He didn’t care.

    • Obladi Oblada

      May 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      “She gaveth not a f*ck” and all it’s reincarnations is my new favorite phrase.

  3. K.

    May 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I used to “help” mom pack my lunch in preschool, and around 2nd grade I pretty much took over (with some supervision to make sure it didn’t consist of Oreos and Coke). I’d take the mommy-and-me time over Matisse sandwiches any day.

  4. Ursi

    May 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

    This is serious bento box level.

    The art of which is no doubt completely lost on a child.

  5. JJ

    May 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Pretty much most things on pinterest makes you look lazy in comparison. I tried to braid my hair like some of the funky pinterest styles and I looked like I just got into a fight with a hair elastic. They have people on there who make their own clothes, well made too, if I try to sew even a little the shirt would come out crooked and look more like a scarf.

    Also who has that much time on their hands to stand in the kitchen perfectly arranging their kids lunch, making it into various shapes and writing notes all over it. I am lucky if I feel like standing in the kitchen to make my own lunch for work much less fussing over a lunch for a preschooler who is probably going to trade some of the food with their friends or throw part of it out because they didn’t feel like eating it that day or the apple was to red so they didn’t like it.

  6. Kendra

    May 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Oy. I liked your lunch idea better than those, fwiw!!! The first one just looks like a bunch of food would end up wasted.

  7. Blahblah

    May 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I thought I could give my kid a pack of smokes and a lighter and have her trade for what she wants

    • noodlestein

      May 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Silly! It’s e-cigarettes these days!

  8. Butt Trophy Recipient

    May 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Yes, I like promoting the eating of dolphins!

    • noodlestein

      May 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Well, hey, why not? They murder each other, so game on!

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      May 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

      And the dumb ones fall for telemarketers too!

    • Valerie

      May 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      We need to extract their tears for our homemade baby formula anyway. Might as well use the meat too. #wastenotwantnot

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      May 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Oh yea! I can extract the tears and tenderize the meat all at once!

  9. Katie B

    May 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Careful sending PB to preschool. Many ban all nuts since it’s harder for the little kids who may not fully understand their allergies.

    • Maria Guido

      May 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Of course I asked! I write about this stuff for a living, which makes me officially paranoid – all the time.

  10. Zettai

    May 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    The cheese stuck to an orange slice… strangely, this bothers me to no end.

  11. Valerie

    May 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I would love to punk the teachers and use a penis-shaped cookie cutter and send Dick Sandwiches to school with my pre-schooler. If anyone calls you out, tell them you made whimsical forest wild mushroom-shaped sandwiches.

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      May 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I hope I don’t have enoki mushrooms 🙁

    • Valerie

      May 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I just Google image searched and literally burst out laughing.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      May 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      LOVE that you have a new name! I knew it was just a matter of time, Mr. Short Attention Span.

  12. ChopChick

    May 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I just look at these and think, “WOW, so much food waste.” And for what? To give your kid a fancy sandwich?

    • nikki753

      May 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      How can you be a proper mommy martyr unless you are LITERALLY only eating scraps from your kids’ meals?

  13. val97

    May 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    All I see is some pinterest mom throwing away perfectly good scraps of bread. And in the second picture, I have to ask: where’s the rest of that clementine? I’m hungry.

    • Lindsay

      May 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      MTE, what a waste of clementine. One slice? Who eats ONE slice of clementine and then feels satisfied with their clementine experience? No one.

    • nikki753

      May 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      I’ll just peel this clementine. I’ll just test one section to see if it’s a good one. It is. I’ll just have another since I peeled the damn thing. Oh shit. There’s only one section left. Look kid, it’s a boat! I totally meant to only give you one section…

  14. Rachel Sea

    May 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I want to know if these parents are all eating negative images of whimsical artworks every day for breakfast, or if they are just throwing away those wee cut out wedges of pineapple, and reversed dolphins.

    And what about when that lunch sack gets thrown sideways into a cubby? Is that sandwich even going to be a sandwich once it’s endured the backpack treatment?

    • SA

      May 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I did star shaped pizza (Pintrest idea) for my kids bday party. I was APPALLED at how much waste there was – I made a big tupperware of misshapen pizza pieces and made my husband eat them for his lunch a few days.

  15. Kay_Sue

    May 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Pinterest has the unique ability to make me feel inadequate in a way nothing else can. *sighs*

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      May 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I feel like that when I watch porn involving black men


  16. FemelleChevalier

    May 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Preschool? Nah, we did these in college (because we’re bored). We’re the envy of the university cafeteria, what with all their boring foods and whatnot. Yuck.

  17. Greta Young

    May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Seems like these lunch-making moms might benefit from a hobby, an employment opportunity, more social time with their adult friends, a good book, volunteering… something.
    If my life is ever reduced to wasting bread and fruit in order create/document aesthetically-pleasing lunches so I can feed my superiority complex via pinterest, please shoot me.

    • Maria Guido

      May 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm


  18. Abby

    May 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    …seriously? For a preschool lunch?

  19. NorthernGirl

    May 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I saw the cut out of the person and thought, why the hell did someone make a dead body sandwich? Oops, it was a dancer? This is why my kids get bread-shaped sandwiches.

    • Kendra

      May 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Yep, I thought it was a dead body too! Too much CSI for me!

    • noodlestein

      May 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      OTOH, I would like that Pinterest mom a LOT more if it were a dead body, because, hello, hilarious!

    • SA

      May 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      “Bread-shaped” sandwiches. 🙂

    • Lindsay

      May 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      I thought the same thing.

    • Maria Guido

      May 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      “Bread shaped sandwiches” just made my night.

    • mlg555

      May 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      It so looks like a dead body , I mean its even bleeding.

    • brebay

      May 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Dare you to bring this to school for a Halloween snack…

    • ILoveJellybeans

      May 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Glad I am not the only one who thought that

  20. Katie L.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    If not making these kinds of lunches makes me a lazy mom, I am 100% okay with it*. Sure those are cute lunches, but anyone who has ever seen a child eat knows that all that adorable twee-ness will be demolished in about 60 seconds**. Plus, making lunches like that on a regular basis will only create an expectation that all food should look like that and I try to keep my kid’s expectations real low.

    *The only thing I would do is pre-peel an orange. That’s just common sense.

    **If this is your kind of thing that’s great. You do you.

    • brebay

      May 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      You’re missing out on the quietest half-hour you’ll ever have by not making your toddler try to peel his own orange…

    • Katie L.

      May 7, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      That’s a good point if I’m at home with her. I’ll keep it in mind for the summer. I was approaching it as a teacher. I hate when kids bring an orange and then say “Here.” and expect me to peel it. I will get it started for them, but then make them do the rest. If I taught pre-school, I would want pre-peeled oranges.

  21. Angela

    May 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Lol, my son’s an incredibly picky eater so I tried a making a few lunches like this in hopes that the fun shapes would entice him to try a couple new foods. I never thought it would be an every day kind of thing but I could see doing it for an occasional treat. That is, I could see doing it if he cared about it at all but he didn’t give a flying fuck. And no, it definitely did not convince him to try anything new.

  22. Lindsay

    May 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I will tell you right now, it doesn’t matter what shape it’s cut into- a preschooler will open it and tell you they don’t like whatever food is in there because that is what they do on principle.

  23. Linzon

    May 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    A while ago I decided to get my bento on and I picked up some tiny cookie cutters. I cut little stars out of cucumbers and red peppers, put the pepper stars in the cucumbers and the cucumber stars in the peppers, and gave it to my 3-year old. He popped the stars out, put them back into their original homes, and then ate them. I could tell he felt it was a very special experience and he really appreciated the effort I went to.

    re #1, I don’t think I even have that many different kinds of fresh food in my house.

    • brebay

      May 7, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      I can’t tell if you’re sarcastic or serious, but it’s either hilarious or adorable either way.

  24. brebay

    May 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    These make me feel like an awesome parent for raising kids who are thrilled with a bag of goldfish and a banana.

  25. mel

    May 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Why would any of these make you feel bad? It’s simply for show, kids truly don’t care what shape their sandwich is. Put things in perspective, look at all the children who go hungry on a daily basis and be thankful you can feed your child a healthy lunch.

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  27. wispy

    May 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    It’s not like it’s even going to be arranged like that once it’s lunch time! After being thrown in the lunch box and carried to school everything’s going to be in a pile on the bottom of the container. I made my daughter a “heart” sandwich one time and all I could think about was wasting the rest of the sandwich, so she got the scraps on her plate too. And does the lady LITERALLY send an ice cube tray to school??

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  29. Lee

    June 21, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Is it bad the the first thought I had upon seeing the second picture was “crime scene photo”?

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  34. Josephine Deck

    September 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I try to teach my kids about food waste and the problem with these “shaped” lunches is what do you do with the rest of the bread and filling or cucumber? I love being creative but spending 50% more time and money on lunches is not what I want to teach my kids. PS the person sandwich also looked dead to me too.

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