Back to School Lunches – Tips to Teach Your Kids to Make Their Own
It is almost that time once again. Time to make school lunches! The truth is though, many parents dread this time. In fact, I am one of those parents that find it overwhelming to put together delicious and nutritious back to school lunches, for 5 days out of the week, that their children will actually eat. The good news though, is that you may not have to make your children’s lunches in totality at all this year. Especially with these tips to get your kids to make their own lunches. Lifesaver right? I KNOW!
Your children can actually make their own packed lunches this year. What better way to not only get them started helping out in the kitchen but also ensure that they are taking the food they are actually going to eat? After all, there is nothing worse than spending time making them a cute lunch only to find it’s mushy remains at the bottom of their lunchbox. It makes me want to SCREAM!
Make Categories for Them to Choose From
The more your children are involved in packing their own back to school lunches, the more likely they are to eat them. Keep in mind though, this should not mean that they get full control of what they put in their lunches. I mean if I gave them full control my daughter would attempt to stuff an ice cream cone in there. Rather than giving them full control, allow them to choose from a list of items that you have pre-approved. You can keep a list attached to the fridge for them to reference, teaching them to choose one food item from each of the categories you suggest.
For example, you can have the categories laid out in the following manner:
Vegetables (At least one) – Whether they choose raw or cooked vegetables, there should be at least one in their lunch box. Things like baby carrots, snow peas and even raw broccoli are fantastic choices.
Proteins (At least two) – Have your children include at least two servings of protein to put in their lunches. This can be anything from eggs, milk, and yogurt to cold meats, cheese, and beans.
Fruits (At least one) – Your kids can choose from a large variety of fruit. Whether they take a fruit salad, an apple or even a pack of unsweetened dry fruits, there should be at least one serving included.
Whole Grains (At least one) – Whole grains are important to your children’s health. Whether you sent pasta, quinoa or even pre-make some pancakes to send, there are several different options for your kids to choose from.
Allowing them some monitored control when it comes to packing their lunches is a good idea. This will help to ensure that they are still having healthy well-balanced lunches, and teach them to pack their own healthy lunches.
Make Sure You Have the Right Gear for Back to School Lunches
When teaching your kids to make their own lunches, you want to ensure that you also have the right gear on hand.
Here are a few lunch essentials that will make teaching your kids to pack thier own lunches easier:
- Containers of various sizes
- Washable lunch bags
- Ice packs
- Water bottles
When selecting some of these items, like containers and bags, it is important to make sure they are easy for your children to open and use on their own. You do not want them to spend most of their lunchtime struggling with lids and zippers.
Using these tips for back to school lunches can help your kids familiarize themselves with every stage of packing their own lunches. In fact, making your kids responsible for preparing lunches, gives them confidence in their own skills and can actually increase the chances of them eating what was packed.
Do you let your kids Make School Lunches?
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