School started after Labour Day and this term I need to bring lunch 3 times a week. I can now relate to parents and the difficulty they have with their children in what to put in that lunch box, as I am that picky kid!!! I refuse to eat microwaved food, warm soup in a thermos is unappealing, only some sandwiches are ok, so it seems like there are not many options to bring. Sometimes I don’t feel like prepping food and want a fresh hot meal…there is no such thing around the school, so it is absolutely necessary for me to bring a lunch! I have meditated on the lunch idea and have the following observations and suggestions:
-Involve the child and allow them to choose the container in which they bring and eat their food in. I find this has a huge impact on how appealing I find my lunch, since my ideal is a white plate. However, there are transport and weight considerations when bringing a lunch, so the right container makes it all better. There is also the lunch box or bag- I have a Spongebob lunch bag
-Ask them to choose what leftover dinner foods they find appealing for their lunch. Food that is prepped at dinner time is a timesaver for packing lunch.
-Most importantly, find out what healthy food the child is enthusiastic or excited to eat. Involve them in preparing the food they want to eat. Many will try for pizza and other foods most parents find unhealthy. Those are not options. If you have a picky eater who is an aspiring food critic, it is time they learn some food prep skills. Mom or Dad are not short order cooks!
Here are my current packed lunch ideas that are edible room temperature, and are fairly nutritious to provide energy for focus:
greek salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomato, cucumber, green onion, fresh oregano, parsley, grilled haloumi cheese, olive oil and lemon juice
roast turkey with kale salad, and roasted sweet potato
quinoa salad with fresh herbs, and green veggies, boiled egg
I also pack fruit and a small sweet treat to round out the meal. Best wishes for lunch prep and healthy eating!