Thinking outside the box
As we prepare to get back in to the routine of school lunches, this week I thought it would be a good idea to talk outside the “box” with the children as we prepared to get ready for the alarm and school lunches. As a family we decided to go shopping together and talk about why we need to eat this and that and the importance of eating all these veggies. Talking about nutrition and its impact on things like energy and focus worked especially well. It is our hope that clued-in children are more likely to clean out their lunch box, and at the same time hope they're also establishing healthy notions around food.
Next came the actual prep on Thursday for the first day of school and the dreaded lunch box. I gave the children cutting boards, veggies and knives … Obviously watching every move, we let the children cut their own raw vegetables up. The added bonus here is that your family ends up with ready to go healthy picks.
If children feel more invested in the meal they bring to school, they're more likely to eat it — and less likely to come home and raid the fridge or beg for snacks before supper.
A hidden cost when it comes to school lunches is packaging — especially when expensive items go astray. Some of us already have learned the importance for a reusable lunch bag and washable containers, which is better for the pocket and the planet. Rather than pay extra for juice boxes, we fill a Thermos with chilled water and cut up lemons, oranges or apples.
Talking, prepping and even grocery shopping together are all great ways to get your children appreciating the value in dollars and nutrients of their packed lunch.