as parents and caregivers, we get brain fade so often when it comes to making the lunches for our kids.
then it comes back after school with half of it uneaten.
yup i tear my hair out too. it seriously drives me nuts! you can make things nutritionally balanced, healthy, follow all the food groups and the kids will turn up their noses at it.
or you can fill it with junk and they will scoff the lot, have foggy brain and a sugar high for the rest of the afternoon at school and be right royal…… well you get the idea….. when they get home.
so, they need a good healthy lunchbox, that will still be eaten, and will keep them going for the rest of the afternoon until afternoon tea time when they get home from school
look at what bread your children get for their lunch, a low GI bread will digest slower, making the energy they get from the food last longer, so with a simple switch to a low GI bread you have already made a positive change!
what do they want in their sandwich. i have learnt to stop asking what my children want in their sandwich, it takes forever for them to stop changing their mind!
of course you have the basics like marmite, honey, jam, peanut butter, nutella etc what other things do your children like?
mine like cheese and marmite (they like this toasted too), cheese and lettuce, lettuce and luncheon, cold meat lettuce and tomato, cold meat and tomato sauce or pickle, salad, egg, and a new one that my miss 4 is getting into on her sandwiches is Carrot, mayo and raisins, mix it together and spread on the bread. she loves it!
get creative, find out what they can put together themselves by spreading out a table full of fillings one weekend when everyone is home, let them make whatever they want, its pretty funny what they end up trying sometimes, ok and its pretty yuck some of the concoctions they end up making! experimentation with food is really good for them though, they learn a lot by doing this and will probably try more than if you put it on their dinner plate.
what other things can you do to make the lunchbox appealing?
sometimes instead of using bread try using pita wraps or mountain bread, crispbread or bagels.
how about a tub of mini salad like cherry tomatos, chunks of carrot, celery and crispy noodles – fun to eat and brightly coloured!
or a tub of fruit salad with their favorite fruits.
home made mini pizzas cold the next day, or fritters or scones – both savory and sweet.
a small tub of hummus with some veggie sticks, or a yoghurt dip with chunks of fruit.
to help keep the lunchbox cold at school you can do a few things, you can freeze their drinkbottle (if that fits inside their lunchbox) or you can freeze some of the fruit that goes into their lunch, grapes and mandarins are two fruit that freeze well. or a normal old icepack in the lunchbox always works well too.
kids love to eat fun food, different shapes, colours, sizes, they like small portions of many things.
Try a cookie cutter to make shapes out of the bread, “goody bags” of mixtures of their fave snacks, include dried fruits, pretzels, crackers, seeds, sweet crackers, baked savory crisps etc.
home made jelly with cut fresh fruit through it, home made baking, muesli slices (can hide SO much in this one…. just dont tell my kids!) brownies, sultana slices, home made crackers, fruit muffins, shortbread.
there are lots of ways to make food fun, but still stay healthy, and will keep them going for the day until they get home and become bottomless pits for food!
for me its all about trial and error, miss 6 wont always eat what miss 4 eats and vice-versa, whereas mr 1 will most probably eat what they both eat and more of it!
its the start of the school year, have fun with your kids lunchboxes, let them have fun and create in the weekend, and together make a plan on lunches that get eaten every day!