It’s back to school time!
You know what that means, don’t you?
Yep, it’s back to making packed lunches again, five days a week.
Use our top 4 tips for kids lunches to keep things happy and healthy in your kid’s lunchbox this term.
1. Get Your Kid’s Input
Children seem to change their tastes quite frequently, and this can be frustrating for us as parents packing their lunches.
The easiest way to waste a lot of lunches because they end up just coming straight back home again is to choose things your children don’t like.
Isn’t that a minefield?
Not really, if you just ask them.
Yes, children don’t always know what they want, and sometimes they’ll just ask for sweeties every day. But mostly, if you give your child the trust to have a say in what they actually want for lunch, this will bode well for you.
Ask them what their favourite things are before you go food shopping for the week, and then prepare lunches around that.
I guarantee you’ll have a lot less waste and a lot more happy smiling faces.
2. Keep Things Fun
Visuals including shapes and colours are important for children.
It’s important to keep their lunch visually stimulating so that they have a better chance of engaging with it and hopefully eating it all.
If you are introducing something new to your child’s lunches, presenting it in a fun and artistic way will help them go towards it and not away from it.
And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. Just try including lots of colours in their lunch box, and using cute little cupcake cases to store things. You can also cut shapes in all kinds of food using moulds.
A couple of extra minutes of prep time can really help out a child who can be a little reluctant to finish their lunch at school.
3. Make Multiple Lunches At Once
This tip is for you more so than for your kids.
To stop feeling so rushed during the week, try preparing a couple of days’ lunches for your children at once.
You can do this for up to 3 days in advance and the food will still be fresh.
Get everything to go on Sunday and Wednesday nights, for example, and then you only have to stand and pack lunches twice a week rather than five times a week.
Time-saving for you and no less tasty for them.
This will also encourage you to use up everything you have from your food shop across multiple lunches, and so you will save money in the long run.
4. Cover All Food Groups
If you’re worried about the quality of the lunches you’re packing and whether or not they are the “right” thing for them, take some pressure off yourself by just concentrating on covering all of the main food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy).
A little bit of everything will do the job the best.
It doesn’t have to be too complicated to be healthy. A simple lunch like this will cover all food groups:
- A sandwich with ham and cheese (grains, protein and dairy)
- Some tomatoes and cucumber (vegetables)
- A banana (fruits)
You can also then add small treats without worrying about your child’s health too much because you know they are already getting everything they need.
Don’t be too hard on yourself or compare your lunches to those on Pinterest and Instagram. Your child can get all they need from a classic and simple lunch that takes you only 5 minutes to prepare.