Now y’all know how we feel about taking a relaxed approach to food and eating, especially when it comes to our kid’s lunch box. But there is one thing I really can’t stand – food waste! If my daughter is not hungry at school, by all means, she does not have to eat. So when that lunchbox comes home full, I really just can’t stomach tossing it’s entire contents in the garbage. Full disclosure, I will generally re-pack a few of the items the next day. And there are times that this is met with not the happiest of responses by a certain very opinionated four and a half year old.
So I’ve come up with a few strategies that seem to help her get a little more excited about what is in her lunchbox. Of course, come lunch time, it is her choice to eat as much or as little as she wants. But to help prevent those cries and protests about what is going in this lunchbox, I’ve come up with a few strategies.
There’s no sandwiches cut into the shape of bears, no cucumbers cut into hearts. Just simple, easy and achievable tips to help take the dread out of packing school lunches and get your child just a tad more excited about what’s in their lunchbox.
Three Tips for Packing A School Lunch Your Kids Will Be Excited About
Involve them in the process
Take some time the night before, even just a few minutes, and ask your child what they would like in their lunch box. Sounds pretty simple, but it makes a world of difference. The times I’ve forgotten or just didn’t have even a minute to chat are met with not so happy faces when she asks to see what’s in her lunch before leaving for school. Kids are independent creatures, they want to feel a sense of control over their life, and this includes their food. Just like involving them in the cooking process gets them excited about their food, involving them in the lunch packing process gives the same results.
Pack a fun food item
I’ve got one of those very fancy bento box style boxes and in the centre is a small circular compartment for a “treat.” I can’t tell you how excited my daughter gets from a few chocolate chips. Throwing in one of your child’s favourite foods or a little surprise in their lunch will make their day, or at least their lunch time.
Make it a fun theme
When it comes to kids, it’s really all about the marketing. How are you selling that lunch? Some leftover french toast becomes “breakfast for lunch” day! A slice of pizza? It’s a “pizza party!” For my daughter, it’s all about the label. I’ll use this strategy at dinner too. If I told her we are eating Mexican lasagna, the chances of her wanting to try it are slim to none. Now if I label it “Cheesy Beans,” she will likely dive right in. Of course if she doesn’t want to eat or try something, she definitely doesn’t have to. But kids are particular little things and the name or title can really make or break it!