Who remembers the dreaded lunch box prep blues?
Five school days a week, five sets of packed lunches to make - week in, week out, during school term.
Oh no it's summer, it's going to be too warm to put meat in a sandwich, peanut butter and Nutella are out - it's a nut free school. Can't make salad - darling female child hates cucumber, darling male child hates carrots.
Falling back on the old stand-by - the hastily prepared vegemite or tomato sandwich, the banana which you know will be brown and squishy by noon, the yoghurt - which will be warm and probably growing an entirely new culture by lunch time, the slice of cheese - an orange, rubbery excuse for dairy which will be sweating in the 35 degree heat of the playground, the muesli bar - oh no this one contains nuts - see previous paragraph.
Only to have most of it come back in the stinky plastic box while starving kids raid the pantry for Nutrigrain and Fruit Loops.
Many older Australians are finding themselves as child minders and carers of their grandchildren while cash-strapped parents go to work; or even permanent custodial carer grandparents responsible for preparing school lunches and feeding the starving minions when they're picked up from school.
The Heart Foundation is on a mission to help parents, grandparents and school kids prepare their healthiest - and tastiest - lunchboxes yet, as four million Australian students get ready to head back to school.
In Australia, a quarter of all Australian kids aged 5 to 14 years are overweight. Additionally, many fail to meet the daily recommended servings of fruit, vegetables and legumes - foods that are essential to establishing healthy eating habits and reducing their future risk of heart disease.
Research also shows that kids are exposed to more than 15 junk food advertisements per hour when online, making it tough for parents to reinforce healthy eating.
The key, to helping children enjoy healthy eating is to take small steps towards a bigger goal, according to Heart Foundation senior dietitian Jemma O'Hanlon, who shared the organisation's top lunchbox lifesavers to keep costs down and satisfy their kids' tastebuds while sticking to heart-healthy eating habits.
Eat the rainbow
Make a zebra sandwich
Ensure food is easy for little fingers to eat
Prioritise your plan
Include a frozen water bottle
Ms O'Hanlon said to remember that food choices are not necessarily good or bad in isolation; they instead need to be considered in the context of our whole diets.
"Don't feel that you need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing lunches. Have your little helpers give you a hand and let them choose which fruit or vegetable they would like to pack in their lunchbox," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"If you want to give your child a treat, choose one day of the week (Friday is always a popular choice) and let them choose a 'sometimes food' to add to their lunchbox.
"It's also important to remember, if food comes home uneaten, don't be defeated because it can take over 10 times of offering a child a food before acceptance."
Heart Foundation funded researcher, Professor Kathryn Backholer, from Deakin University, is currently investigating the impact of junk food advertising on how young minds make eating decisions.
"We live in a rapidly changing, digital world, where children's and young adults' exposure to the marketing of unhealthy snacks and brands is unprecedented," Prof. Backholer said.
"Existing evidence has shown that routine exposure to things like unwholesome food or drink negatively influences attitudes and behaviour, and therefore cardiovascular health and wellbeing.
"Given one in four children living in Australia are overweight or obese, the school lunchbox is a good place to start," Ms O'Hanlon said.