The Lunchbox. Only 8 letters long but such an important word and one that conjures up so many different feelings for people. For some it is the “oh no” emotion, referring to the last minute panic, others it is the “yucky” smell that returns to that part of the brain that remembers soggy sandwiches and squashed bananas. Regardless of how you feel about The Lunchbox, it is a really important part of your child’s day.
Ensure that the quantity is right. You don’t want to waste food and you don’t want them to go hungry as this proves to be a big distraction from their learning if they have a rumbly tum. Monitor how much is coming home. You also don’t want them to be spending their whole lunch or recess time eating!
Pack the right foods. A piece of fruit, a snack and a sandwich should be enough. Make sure the fruit is packed well in a lunchbox or container so not to get squashed. Pop in a freezer pack to keep it cool in the warmer months. Think about what the sandwich will be like a few hours after making it and whether it is likely to fall apart on them when they take apart the cling wrap. Sugary food can make children lethargic after lunch so try to avoid where possible.
Find foods that interest your child. There are SO many options and if time allows, get them involved in the making and packing. There is no point packing food that doesn’t get eaten.
At this time of the year it is easy to become complacent about what goes into The Lunchbox so here are some ideas to help you find that enthusiasm again!
Small handful of dried fruit
Small handful of cereal such as Sultana Bran or Mini Wheat
Cup of popcorn (plain)
Pikelets or scones
Wholemeal crackers with a slice of cheese (not so great on hot days)
Celery and carrot sticks
Sushi using rice and cucumber or capsicum cut up finely
Home made pita chips (cut pita bread into triangles, sprinkle with cheese and bake 180C for 15-20 minutes until crisp)
For more easy lunchbox ideas, check out the Kidspot Kitchen lunchbox section - with hundreds of ideas to choose from you are sure to find some lunch-spiration!
This piece was originally written for Kidspot in 2011 as part of their Buddy's Bright Ideas series, sponsored by Kelloggs.