Putting together a lunchbox for my kids always gets me excited, to see all the colors coming together as I imagine the joy they will feel as they open it each day. In this post you will find a week’s worth of school lunch ideas. These ideas are appropriate for preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary aged children.
When my kids were younger they were very poor eaters. I would run after them spending over 30 minutes each meal trying to get them to eat something. I always wondered if I was doing something wrong as they just did not seem to enjoy eating. So I decided to do what I do best- turn to Google. I researched how much they should be eating, what they should eat and how to get them to eat.
Eventually I seemed to have found solutions. Firstly, I had to stop feeding them. Secondly, my goal was to incorporate all 5 food groups in a day. Thirdly, I had to offer them smaller quantities and more variety.
And that is how the story began…
Today, I have put together a week’s worth of lunches for you. Now, you may be wondering if my kids actually eat everything you will see in their bento boxes…They do…But here is how we do it.
They are not big breakfast eaters and after years of frustration I have made peace with it. Most days they just have something to drink for breakfast.
As I mentioned before, I aim to incorporate all five food groups into the lunchbox. Hence, if they eat everything in their lunchbox my job is done. Whatever nutrition they get in the rest of the day is a bonus.
They get their lunchbox before school each day. When they choose to eat their food or in what order is entirely up to them. I must say, they love the independence this gives them. At 2.30pm they are required to give me back an empty lunchbox. By doing this it teaches them to eat when they are hungry as opposed to being forced to eat because it is meal times. The only meal I insist be eaten at mealtime is dinner as that is “family time”.
You may find this interesting but I also make lunch boxes during school holidays. This way I do not have to deal with kids asking me “what can I eat?” all day long. Also, if their lunch boxes are prepared they won’t snack on junk food.
So where do I get the time to prepare lunch boxes every day? I prep in advance…
During every school holiday I spend two mornings in the kitchen preparing freezer- friendly lunches for the whole term. This way all I need to do each morning is defrost and warm it up. I also go lunchbox shopping to look for healthy (cost effective) snacks to include.
Weekly, I buy fruit, veg, yogurts and other perishable lunchbox goodies – and then I start packing…
Day 1: Home-made hotdogs – yogurt – just fruit bar- pineapple cubes- chicken/ veg soup
Home made hot dog recipe (Can be frozen):
You can find the recipe for these Chinese Hot Dog Bun Rolls here.
Day 2: Chicken and mixed veg bread rolls – banana – fruit & seed bar – mini custard (A treat a week for healthy eating)
You can find the recipe for the Chicken Bread Rolls here.
Day 3: Chicken and veg quiche- sip up yogurt- papaya cubes – berry chews – sticks with cheese dip
Day 4: Steak and cheese mini pitas with cocktail tomatoes – milk with chocolate straws – pineapple cubes – carrot sticks with yogurt and cucumber dip
Day 5: Fish cakes with cocktail tomatoes – corn on the cob – bread – cheese cubes- nuts & raisins – papaya cubes – yogurt
A Week Of School Lunch Ideas http://bit.ly/2g0ZjFIA
I hope you enjoyed my lunchbox ideas post. By adding a bit of variety into my children’s lunches it encourages a larger palate. Kids are creatures of habit so if you give them the same thing every single day you will begin to notice that they will become more and more picky on food choices.