There is no college course for motherhood. The profession is passed on from generation to generation shaped by culture, education, religious orientation, financial capacity and social status. While mothers do their best, each do things differently. Household management depends on the local norms, individual preference and available resources. All these affects the lunchbox.
Mothers with live-in maids could have the lunchbox delivered to the kid’s school at lunch break so that the rice and soup would arrive warm, the fruit fresh and the iced drink cool. Most mothers just give their child food allowance. The kid could pick anything they want from the dining hall but the child would have to know how to budget to make the money last for a week.
From the late 70’s to the 80’s, I was a working mom. I didn’t have time to work on the lunchbox. I made arrangements with the school dining hall management to give my three children credit and signing privileges. I didn’t have to worry about the cash or lunch delivery. They ordered what they wanted and signed on a list which I paid monthly. A credit card would have made things a lot easier but credit cards were not commonly used in the Philippines back then.
Now that I have retired, I have the time to do the lunchbox. My daughter writes down on the board hanging on the fridge door what she wants for lunch for each day of the week. There are salad days and then there are soup days. Rice comes with vegies every Friday.
I get fruits free from Brown Bag and thanks to YouTube I have learned to be creative with fruit presentation. I make her flowers made from strawberries or little balls made out of melon then sprinkle with Splenda. I make her cocktail drinks with fresh squeezed oranges mixed with Fresca (7Up or Sprite) just for the fizz. Sometimes I use a sachets of Snapple Ice Tea to go with blended (peeled) apple or pear.
I actually have fun doing the lunchbox. By the way my daughter is now 35 years old. Motherhood never ends.