Coming to the last term of school for the kids,
Its a struggle to say the least to fill the lunch boxes with food that
they will eat
supply them with energy to get through the day
I’ve put together 8 tips for school lunches
but first ….lets think about why we need them?
School lunches are important to get right in my opinion as ….
- Making the most of the controlled environment of school, they don’t have fall back on snacks that might be in the cupboards at home, so if they are hungry they MAY eat whats in the lunch box….. provided its to their taste, it can get them into a super eating routine!
- expectations in schools are high! Having to sit still for long periods at a time, focus and concentrate, throw in added social stresses of school environment, kids need to feed their bodies accordingly to keep them up to speed!!
- Education for life!…. getting the kids to negotiate between their own taste, and nutrition benefits of different foods, filling lunchboxes can be a real opportunity for children to learn how to make decisions that will will benefit them. This kind of skill can become a valuable one they will have for life!!
8 General rules for healthy lunch boxes
Make sure it’s not all white carbs and protein ( white bread sandwich, cheese, yogurt, biscuits ) choose one of these not all of them
Include choice. When preparing fruit or veg, ask your child to choose between two, this way independance is promoted….freedom to choose food does wonders for their appetite!
encourage your child to have water as a drink option. This may take a while to get, but is worth it. If hey have juice make sure it’s fresh not from concentrate, which usually means not from a small carton, but filled into a drinks bottle. Diluting the juice as much as you get away with can help them get the water in!
Make sure to understand the reasons if they are not eating their food in school. Their may be a time issue, if they are slower at eating or social complication (someone commneting on the contents of the lunch box, or general distraction) If you understand the reasons it makes it easier to help your child to adapt, and help solve the issues.
Don’t give up!! If there are big changes to be made, they wont happen overnight. Perhaps you need to make one change at a time, and offer rewards and encouragment and praise for even small efforts and improvements!
Stick with it….give it 3 months of trying, not just 1 or 2 attempts. Small changes are still worth it!!!….so if you introduce any small change long term, pat yourself on the back because that is a very worthwhile change to make for your childs health!
Plan in advance. On shopping day, make sure the provisions are bought to be able to follow through with a new plan. Time is precious in the mornings, so keep it convenient to limit stress!
Home baked treats. If you have time, and have done some baking with the kids, try put aside a bun, or cake slice, cookie for a treat day. Something that they made themselves will give them confidence and bring back a nice memory of cooking in the kitchen. Good feelings = good appetite!!
Last important point!
Give yourself a break! I used to get stressed about getting the right foods into the kids, and in a way it has motivated me to make changes that I am proud of in my family….
……but there are plenty of times that I just sigh and shrug, and move on
….like when my youngest came in to me early morning with a big cheese and onion flavoured kiss, and realised he had got up and helped himself to crisps for breakfast!
…. or the week that I bought everyone ice cream everyday after school for a full week because I didnt have the mental will power to stand up against the constant begging for treats!
here are my good day lunch boxes that I try and keep going with much success!
as you can see, they are simple, less processed and a bit of variety. These are going with my kids tastes aswell. We sometimes add a greek yogurt.
I often admire blogs that display sandwiches shaped into dragons and smiley faces on cookies etc, and kids love that ….
but being realistic I don’t have time to keep that up! The closest we usually get is our novelty shaped cookies, or stamping the first letter of the childs name on them.
I think these below are very cute however …. the idea was used to promote healthier snacks at a juiceplus+ wholefood nutrition event in Australia….I thought they were very effective!
My kids benefit from concentrated wholefood supplement juiceplus+ …. find out how families are benefitting from the childrens health study
keep smiling!! heres my daughter …. a picky eater as a toddler has come on in spades!!
Kids haven’t started lunch box stage yet? Check out top tips for fussy eaters by oneyummymummy
thanks for reading,