Best of the Web: School lunches and the pressure to impress, and more

School lunch box stress, giving kids a 'healthy digital diet', and ideas to bully-proof kids.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

From Camp Pie and sauce sangas to sushi rolls: how Australian school lunches have changed

(Kelly Eng, The Guardian)

Have you been stressing over what to put in your kid’s lunchbox? The author, whose daughter has just started prep, has been wrestling with this question, aware that too much sugar, cling wrap etc. could lead to her being lunch-shamed.

She decided to ask Google, and that ideas that were came forth raised the bar even higher: heart-shaped sandwiches, and even a handwritten note of affirmation.

Ah, for the simpler days of a Vegemite sandwich, fruit, muesli bar and juice box. The author takes us back to this time and before, exploring how school lunches have evolved.

She asks primary school teachers for their thoughts, and as one notes, some kids eat better lunches than them.

If you’re enduring lunch box stress, you’ll relate to fun and informative take. 

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Social media can make anxiety worse for young people, but a 'healthy digital diet' can help

(Zalika Rizmal, ABC News)

It’s easy to see social media as an inherently bad thing for young people, given the damage that it can do.

‘There is an association with higher rates of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression in people who are excessively using a lot of these [platforms],’ says child psychiatrist and researcher Dr Philip Tam.

But, as Dr Tam points out, social media can also be a good thing for young people. He argues for a ‘healthy digital diet’.

That means more intentional use rather than mind scrolling, limiting screen time and balancing it with real-world activities.

You might also find interesting our article Not just about screen time. Why a healthy digital diet matters

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How to bully-proof your kids for life

(Joanna Moorhead, The Guardian)

We all know the damage that bullying can do to a child. And on the flip side, what if your child is the bully? What about the spectators to the bullying? What role do they play?

These issues are explored in what’s described here as a groundbreaking book, Bully-Proof Kids, by Stella O’Malley.

In this interview, she says that to understand bullying, you need to see the whole picture. Bullying is about everyone in the group, room, office or playground; even the bystanders.

What follows in an extensive Q&A with O’Malley, where she answers such questions as, ‘What can parents do?’, ‘What if parents are bullies themselves?’, and ‘Has digitisation changed the nature of bullying, or has it merely given it a new arena?’.

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