Do the contents of your child’s lunchbox after school look suspiciously similar to when your child set off for school? And do they come home claiming to be starving?
For many parents the lunchbox challenge is a daily battle. We have teamed up with Glenisk to give you some tips and tricks to ensure your child’s lunchbox comes home empty!
Tried and Tested Parent Tips to Ensure your Child’s School Lunches Get Eaten
#1. Understand the Constraints
Breaks are short so children often prioritise getting out to play with their friends over eating! Or maybe somebody commented on what your child had in their lunchbox and they no longer want to eat it. Or maybe they simply don’t like what is in there!
Rather than ranting over the waste, take the time to talk to your child to understand what the barriers are to eating their lunch and together come up with a lunchbox plan that works for everyone.
#2. Hand Over Responsibility
Now you have established what might work for your child, consider handing over the responsibility to them for creating their own lunch. Handing over responsibility doesn’t mean letting them have whatever they want!
Have a store of foods that work for you that you know they like and let them choose what to take each day.
For a well balanced diet, ideally a school lunch should consist of dairy, fruit and vegetables, protein and carbohydrate. Along with water for hydration.
- Yogurt is the perfect option for dairy. The Glenisk Organic Kids range comes in 4 great flavours, are 100% natural, have no added sugar or bits and taste great! The new paper pots and sleeves are certified climate neutral by Climate Partner. The protective layer that keeps the yogurt pot leak-proof, food safe and ideal for lunchboxes, is made from Green PE, which comes from tree resin instead of fossil fuels.
- Vary the choice of fruit and vegetables and keep them to seasonal varieties where possible. The ideal portion is one medium sized piece of fruit or 2 small sized pieces, a small salad or chopped up or grated vegetables. During the winter months, you could include a vegetable soup.
- Protein can be added to sandwiches or come in the form of a dip. Include up to 75g cooked meat or a large egg, small tin of fish such as tuna, mackerel or salmon or a small pot of hummus.
- Carbohydrates should be wholemeal when possible. Vary the options so your child doesn’t get bored, Some ideas apart from bread for sandwiches are rolls, bagels, pitta pocket, wraps, breadsticks or crackers, pasta, rice or couscous.
#3. The Perfect Lunchbox
There are literally hundreds of different lunchboxes to choose from. The most important thing for any child, is that they can easily open and close it without help.
After that, it can be good to get a box with compartments so when your child comes to eat lunch, the choice is not too overwhelming. Different foods can be placed into the compartments to make choosing what to have at small break or big lunch quick and simple.
Glenisk Organic Kids Yogurts are the ideal size for popping into lunchbox compartments and with 4 tasty flavours, your child can have a different one each day!
#4. Portion Sizes
Keep portions kid sized. Something your child can easily pick up and get through quickly. Usually lunchtimes are about getting through the food as quickly as possible so they can play with friends.
If you are worried they aren’t eating enough, bulk up breakfast or their after school snack to compensate.
Glenisk Organic Kids Yogurts are also perfect for both breakfast and after school snacks, choose from strawberry, vanilla, apricot and banana, all 100% natural with no added sugar and kid sized too.
#5. Review the Choices
Keep lunchboxes exciting by regularly reviewing the choices you offer with your child. While many are happy to eat the same thing for months on end, trust me one of my girls took the same lunch almost every day last year, others want a change, my other lady totally loved a certain food until I had a stockpile of it and then she announced she didn’t like it anymore!
Remember lunch is only one meal of many and so long as they eat a small amount to sustain them between breakfast and an after school snack, they will be fine.