Get your kids involved in the lunch-making process. They will be excited about what they’re eating which means that they’ll actually eat what you pack!
I’m in countdown mode people! In just two short weeks, our lazy summer routine will be out the window and the mad dash to get off to school will begin!
When I think about our current summer schedule, it makes me cringe about trying to get everyone up and ready for school early in the morning.
Each summer, I try to get us in the back to school mode by trying out new school lunch ideas. I have a picky eater on my hands so I am always trying to figure out new ideas to pack in their lunchboxes. Packed lunches are a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school has to offer or you want a little more control over what your child is eating.
After 5 years of packing school lunches, I have found that getting them involved in packing their school lunches actually helps ensure they eat their lunches!
How To Get Your Kids To Pack Their School Lunch
1. Get a cool lunch box and accessories. Of course, I had in my mind the exact lunch box I wanted for him. But when he picked a different one out, I went with it. I also let him pick out some containers to keep his food separated (I told you he was picky). But they were his choices and he loved them!
2. Let them pick out their own food when grocery shopping. Whether you take them grocery shopping with you or you ask for a list, have them give you two to three favorites for their lunch boxes. They’ll feel more empowered and excited about what they’re eating, which will increase the odds that they’ll actually eat what you pack.
3. Make a list. Sit down with your kids and make a list of lunch ideas. Break it down into categories: main food items (like chicken nuggets), fruits and veggies, snacks, and drinks. Add their favorite school lunches along with some lunch ideas that they would like to try.
We came up with this school lunch planner to help make packing school lunches easier!
4. Time to pack! Set up a lunch packing station with pre-packaged snacks, lunch boxes, containers, and water bottles. This is key! Having everything on hand makes packing lunches a breeze!
Younger children can help, too! Even your Kindergartener can wash grapes and put them into a container, or pick a snack for his lunch box. Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made! You’re also teaching them independence and important life skills.
5. Give them variety. It’s easy to pack a ham and cheese sandwich every day, it can get boring. Use a Thermos to pack a hot lunch, like chicken nuggets or leftovers from dinner the night before. This will also helps cut down on purchases made in the lunch line!
6. Have some fun with it! I found some cute school lunch notes to put instead to give him a little boost at lunch time. I’m also on the hunt for some fun sandwich cutters and silicone cupcake wrappers.
7. Encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad for example, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but don’t freak out if they decide to pack some treats. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food.