A new school year has begun, after being at home enjoying the summer and pampering our little ones, it is time once again
A new school year has begun, after being at home enjoying the summer and pampering our little ones, it is time once again for the daily struggle of deciding what goes into the lunchbox. It sounds so simple, so easy. But I’m sure you know, as well as I do, that it gets harder every time.
It is also a very important issue because when the kids are in school we lose a little bit of control on their diets. At home, we can manage the balance between healthy meals and guilt-inducing treats, but the school is no man´s land. It doesn’t help the case that our daughter is a somewhat picky-eater that looks at veggies with disdain and doesn´t even fall for the much-acclaimed PB& J sandwich.
Last year, we did a little digging around and asked what the other kids were taking, what she thought of their lunches, which were the most envied items, etc. That didn’t help much though. Apparently, a lot of parents are already struggling with the same issue and quite a bunch have already given up and resorted to the pre-made or fast-food options.
This year, we also found another obstacle that we had not previously considered. At what time is lunch time for your kid? It turns out that ‘lunchtime’ for our girl is 10:30 am. Wow!, Isn´t that crazy? My guess is that not many children would be thrilled to have to eat beans, beef and salad 2 hours after breakfast.
So we are really trying to work this out and have set a few parameters for what we think would be a nice lunchbox template:
– Has to be fun.
– Has to be nutritive and balanced.
– Has to be desirable at 10 am.
– Has to be simple and easy to eat.
Following our own set rules, we have done a few experiments in this couple of weeks and have to say that we seem to be having good results. She comes home and talks about her lunch and is anxious to know what she´ll get the next day. Also, she has told us how some of her classmates wanted to ask their parents to pack them something she had. Hooray!
These are some of the lessons we have learned so far:
Containers add a nice touch of color and organization to your lunch box, that is true. But they also help to keep hot things somewhat hot and cold things cold. No more hot fruit in this house!
We chose this set that has multiple, size appropriate containers and even built-in ice packs.
I like the separate containers approach because they keep aromas, textures, and flavors where they belong. Even when ‘carefully handled’ by the kids. But, if you prefer the single box approach, our closest contender was this highly rated bento box.
I have found that it is key to have decided what I’m going to pack for lunch on the night before. Sometimes unexpected situations got on the way and I would end up improvising lunch, which always ended on the low of the spectrum. When possible and safe, I leave some things ready and packed the night before and finish in the morning with the cold and hot stuff.
Having time to think also allows me to consider the nutritional value of each item and the food groups I’m including in that particular day. Pro-tip: Don´t forget to pack a water bottle, iced if in a sunny state like us.
Always keep in mind your ‘target audience’, not only they are young kids but your young kids. There is no one in the world that is more prepared to wow them than you, and that gives you the opportunity to create memories and experiences, but it is also a pathway to make sure that your kids are feeding properly when you are not around.
Cookies cutters and edible marker are wonderful allies, but if you are feeling a little overwhelmed and can´t come up with anything you like, just jump to Pinterest and choose something your kids will love.
– A healthy but easily digestible breakfast at home is a great way to start your kids day.
– Kids like to choose, let them do it sometimes, even if their choice is not as healthy as you would like.
– Make sure that there is enough liquid in their lunch box to keep them hydrated for the whole day.
– As for your customer’s feedback, what did they enjoy the most? the least? were there any packing issues?.
– Avoid smelly foods, they tend to make kids uncomfortable with their classmates and will probably come back home unopened.
– A surprise note from their mom will totally make their day.
Turkey breast sandwich with spinach and provolone, fruit kebabs, and homemade mango juice.
And maybe you will too.
Cute little notes that you can tuck into your child’s lunch box or backpack. Click to buy from Amazon.com
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission, which will really help us keep this family project up. Regardless, We only recommend products or services we use and/or believe will add value to our readers.