School Lunch Savvy
Do you have lots on your plate? Feel like you're scrambling to get the kids and, yourself out the door on time? Tired of making the same school lunches? And feeling frustrated when you see a lunch box come back with untouched food? If you answered yes to any of the above, I'm here writing this blog to make your life easier. To give you simple school lunch solutions to save you time, money, and create happy, healthier kids in the making.
So let's get to it. Start with empowering your kids, you don't have to do it all. Together... ☆ create the meal plan ☆ go shopping (market, garden, in store or online) ☆ prep the meals Let your child be an active participant and contributor to the process. If you are Type A you might be thinking right now... "I don't have the time to teach them this", "It will take longer doing it together, I'm faster at this on my own". Yes that can be true initially. Let's skip past the NOW and think long term... You are saving yourself so much time and more importantly educating your children because you are essentially creating the next generation of healthy eaters! Now for them to actually eat the lunch, engage ALL their senses Sight - incorporate colours of the rainbow, kids can even choose colour schemes to focus on Smell - play guess what I am with herbs, spices and essential oils Touch - mix up the texture, and have your kids describe what they feel. Be sure the items are easy and practical for them to hold Taste - mix flavours up by incorporating sauces, dips, and spreads Sound - add something crunchy or crispy to stimulate hearing What to put in the lunch > Keep it REAL ☆Focus primarily on FRUIT + VEG - have your children pick a new one each week or go to a local farm where they can hand pick them ☆Healthy Carbs - oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole grains, sweet potatoes and don't forget veg are healthy carbs too ☆Healthy Fats - avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao or higher ☆Healthy Proteins - beans, legumes, peas, lentils, edamame, tofu, hemp seeds, almonds, tempeh, nutritional yeast, nut butters Questions still coming up like... What if my kids are picky, and won't eat the healthy stuff?!
TIPS + Start with small portions. + Stick with it! Taste buds change every 2 weeks and it takes kids 20+ times of just tasting something to get used to it. + Use a small area of their lunchbox as an exploration area. An area the kids can lick, smell or play with but don't have to eat. + Separate foods, picky eaters often prefer when foods don't touch.
(scroll down to see what we use to do this) + Go slow. Introduce only one new item a day + Offer choices Here are our current favourite products to pack lunches in to up your lunch game:
From top to bottom, going left to right.... 1. Planetbox Rover - Includes the Planetbox Big and Little Dipper - Toxic free, leak proof and dishwasher safe. We use them for yogurt, spreads, dips and other wet textured foods. These bento boxes are a favourite because they offer multiple compartments. 2. Silicon Muffin Cups - Keep foods separate from one another.
3. Lunchbots - Ideal for nursery age children. Think nibblers, grazers or an after school snack.
4. Klean Canteen stainless steel water bottles with interchangeable lids (sports or sippy).
5. Greens Steel kids water bottles come with a lifetime guarantee! Can't beat that.
6. S'nack by S'well food container.
7. Stasher re-usable leak free food bags. Fridge, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
8. MIRA Food Jar is vacuum insulated. Keeping food hot for 5 hours and cold for 10. A game changer year round, think soups, and oatmeals in the winter and smoothie bowls and nice cream in warmer months.
It's all about making lunch fun! Make it an important event, something the kids and YOU look forward to. Real food, whole food, nutritious starts in the home, it's about teaching our kids the value of food and empowering them with choices to instil healthy habits.
What's your take on school lunches? What mama proof tips can you share that work in your home?