Five decades of children’s packed lunches have been analysed and, despite the rising rates of childhood obesity across the UK, research from Wren Kitchens and Nutritionist, Jenny Edelstein,
has found that kids’ lunches are nutritionally healthier today than they were 50 years ago.

Basildon Standard:
Typical Lunchbox: 70's

- Peanut butter and jam sandwiches
- Cheese squares 
- Cheese puff balls
- Pineapple slices 
- Carton of orange juice from concentrate
 
Basildon Standard:
Typical Lunchbox: 80's

- Pickled Onion and Cheese Sandwiches
- Crisps (Like space raiders)
- Chocolate Biscuit with Marshmellow Filling (like Wagon Wheels)
- Apple Slices 
- Carton of Orange Juice from Concentrate 
Basildon Standard:
Typical Lunchbox: 90's

- Ham sandwich (like Billy Bear ham)
- Potato hoop crisps 
- Animal shaped biscuits 
- Chocolate sandwich biscuit (like Penguins)
- Jelly fruit pot 
- Orange flavoured drink (like Capri Sun)

Basildon Standard:
Typical Lunchbox: 00's (2000's)

- Tuna and sweetcorn mayo sandwich 
- Yoghurt tube (like Frubes)
- Salty Crisps (Like Pringles)
- Stringy Cheese
- Chocolate Fingers (Like KitKat)
- Apple Slices & Grapes
- Fruit flavoured water

Basildon Standard:
Typical Lunchbox: 10's (2010-now)

- Chicken salad with peppers sandwich thins 
- Carrot sticks
- Crisps (handful) 
- Chocolate finger (1x) (like Twix finger)
- Tropical fruits like kiwi, raspberries, and blueberries 
- Yogurt covered raisins

According to the study of 2,000 parents by Wren Kitchens, the majority consider children’s packed lunches today to be healthier than when they were young, and what’s included now is more nutritious than the food found in packed lunches in the 70s.

Nutritionist Jenny Says: “There’s been a definite shift away from heavily processed foods we saw in packed lunches in the 1990s and high sugar content seen in classic 1970s lunchboxes. Today, we see packed lunches include a good range of fruit, vegetables and protein.

“Looking at social pressures, over a third feel pressure from other parents to create healthy and exciting packed lunches for their children, but 27% say the cost of maintaining healthy lunches are far too high.”

Today’s parents are under increasing pressure from society and fellow parents to single-handedly combat the UK’s obesity crisis.

According to a recent scientific study of 20,000 parents by University College London, working parents are more likely to have obese children.

Wren’s study, though, reveals over half of parents think the government should do more to encourage healthy packed lunches by offering meal vouchers, subsidising healthy food and educating parents.