Winter is finally coming to an end, DownUnder, so that means Summer is just around the corner…YAY, I can’t wait…I LOVE Summer!
But in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is coming to an end, and the kids have just started back at school.
So, for you, it means it’s time to get back into your daily routine.
Do You Give Your Kids A Packed Lunch Each Day?
Is part of your daily routine spent packing school lunches? It has been my life for the past 14 years.
Packed lunches are a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school offers or you want more control over what your child is eating.
Of course, if your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, a packed lunch is a must!
For me, packing a lunch allows me to include healthy foods my kids will eat. I find overall, it costs less than what I would be paying for lunch at school.
Of course, packing a lunch daily doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away for junk food. The key is finding things your child loves and enjoys eating.
The Best Way To Start Is To Get Your Child Involved
Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, but being in charge of packing lunch will teach them responsibility.
Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box.
Make a list of options, then head to the shops, to make sure you have everything you need for the upcoming week of school.
Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with the lunches they will eat.
For older kids, that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision, of course).
Younger children can help. Even your kindy can wash grapes and put them into a container or pick a snack for his/her lunch box.
Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. But whatever you do, make sure you make it fun!
Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made. Along the way, you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.
Check out this amazing Daily Task Printable to help kids learn to be more independent.
It goes without saying that you want to encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods.
Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy, though. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but try not to freak out if they decide to pack some Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.