We recently had what you might call “The Great Home Lunch Disaster of 2016”. It all started with me getting lunch ready for the 3 kids at home. I realized that a box of crackers that we had just opened now only had 6 remaining crackers.
I have my school kids pack their own lunches for school. My theory has always been that they are more likely to eat the food if they pack it themselves. We reviewed what a lunch should include, and I supervised the lunch-making process for the first few weeks of school. This is where the problems started: I assumed they had it under control.
Over snack that day I asked what kinds of things were being packed in their lunches. I found that half the box of crackers had indeed gone to one child. My other child had packed the equivalent to 8 apricots and 2 apples in the form of dried fruit. Changes needed to happen, and quickly.
We talked again about the importance of packing a healthy lunch: so they have enough energy to make it through school and so they won’t get a sick stomach from eating too much of one kind of food. I asked them if they would rather we have a bunch of available foods that they choose from or a rotating menu so they knew exactly what to pack each day. Thankfully, they chose a menu!
We have all really enjoyed the menu so far. The kids have been excited to have something just a little bit different each day. The menu makes the expectations clear for both me and the kids. The kids know that if it is on the menu, it will be ready. Cheese will be cut, bread will not be in the freezer, there will be lunch meat, etc. I also know that I can count on the kids to have a well-balanced meal.
We talked a bit about portion sizes too. I pointed out where the serving size is located on each container. The serving size for the veggie straws seemed more like an adult portion, so we just cut that serving in half and wrote it on the back so the kids could remember how many to count out. The trail mix had the potential to be a mess, so I scooped out the serving size into snack bags and put them in a container all ready to go.
We printed this list up and have it hanging right next to the fridge so the kids can check it each morning.
What do you do for home lunches?