Are lunches are a major source of arguments, worry, stress or heartache in your house?
Friday’s lunch is a collection of all the scraps that my child hasn’t eaten from the last week.
My child was jealous about other kids getting notes in their lunches, so I put one in his: “Sorry, I ate your pudding. Love, Mom.”
“Kids, do you want pop tarts or cereal for lunch?” This installment of ‘parenting done right’ is sponsored by last night’s Chardonnay!
My Child Doesn’t Eat Their Lunch
A good lunch benefits a student by giving them the energy to remain alert during class time. If you don’t want your child to get “hangry” — hungry and angry — then make sure they are eating their lunch!
If your child regularly doesn’t each their lunch, something needs to change as kids need to fuel their brains and bodies! Check if it’s because they are bored or don’t like the food and keep reading as we’ve addressed these reasons below!
If you find out it’s because they don’t get enough time at school to eat, investigate this further with the school as lunch is a necessity.
Cheers To Successful Lunch Making
(Brought to us by STIR Cooking School & Tutoring…With A Twist*!)
1 – LEFTOVERS
Whether it’s last night’s curry warmed up in a thermos, quinoa made into a salad or roasted veggies tucked in a wrap with some hummus, leftovers are a game changer. (If any of those dishes sound great, STIR Cooking school can help you make them!)
When you make dinner, make extra servings and then put them aside for lunches for the next day. Or, if lunch is needed for the next day, freeze it in individual portions to use in the future.
2 – OWNERSHIP
Sometimes WHO makes the lunch is more important than WHAT is in it! If a child packs their own lunch, they are more likely to eat it!
As ownership of lunches is important and as we’ve suggested that you can use leftovers for lunches, having your children involved in dinner preparations is important too.
Plus, you won’t have to put a note like the one above in ;)!
3 – CATEGORIES
Ensure that something from each of the following categories is in your child’s lunch, regardless of who’s making it.
Put the following list where it will be seen while making lunches.
B) Fruits & Vegetables
C) Whole Grains/Rice/Pasta
D) Healthy Snacks
4 – SIMPLE & FUN IDEAS
Choosing a theme occasionally, Italian with a skewer of tomato and mozzarella cheese, and pasta with a healthy meat sauce. Mexican lunch could include mini taco’s, salsa/ guacamole and corn chips with a bean and corn salad.
Try different nut/seed and dried fruit mixes, popcorn with a tasty spice mix or some pita or kale chips to keep things interesting!
Lunches in a jar are fun and easy! Have your kids do a food jar idea, search on the internet as there is an endless number of great ideas that are fun and delicious. Here is one site to get you started:
In doing my research for this article, I came across an eating program in the States that has a reward system for children who bring a rainbow in their lunch! On Rainbow Day, students are asked to use fruits and vegetables to create a “rainbow” of at least three colours. Once they have finished eating their “rainbow”, they’ll receive a sticker or other small reward. This introduces the concept of eating a plate full of colourful fruits and vegetables.
5 – PREP
Pack lunches the night before. If you are using leftovers, pack them right after dinner and tuck them in the fridge, ready for the morning rush. Then, all you have to do is heat thermos contents in the morning.
Pick up a lunch box container with dividers. It makes packing a lunch that includes all the categories mentioned above, a whole process easier.
The Importance of Teaching Your Child Now
By teaching your children these skills in elementary school (and high school), you will be setting them up for success in life! They will be learning the importance of food preparation, the necessities of a healthy meal, and time management skills.
*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.