One of the standard questions teachers and administrators in childcare centers get asked nearly everyday is “How did my child eat today?”and “How do I get my child to eat more healthy choices?” When it comes to ensuring that our children are eating the most nutritious snacks and meals that they possibly can, it is so important to make it fun, make it colorful and keep it clean. If you want to know exactly what this can look like check the link below for some creative ideas.
When packing a lunch think about yourself even as an adult-if my lunch box is dirty and unappealing aesthetically, or has food I dislike in it, I will tend not to eat it. Especially with young children, a clean and appealing lunchbox can be the make-or-break between a successful food day and an unsuccessful one. Additionally, you can make meals more fun by including a short note simply saying “I love you” or “Have a great day.” To help bridge the home school gap.
Another important thing to remember when packing your child’s lunchbox is to try to pack a little bit of a lot of different things, and to remember that quality is more important than quantity. The ratio 80/20 is a helpful hint. 80% of the lunch should be healthy foods that you are confident your child likes and has eaten successfully before, and 20% of the lunchbox should be new things to try that are similar healthy items’ that you would like to see them eat in the future. These should not be the same thing everyday, and should always be offered to encourage your child to keep his or her options open to trying new things.
The last thing that is key to keep making mealtime at school a success is to provide containers that your child can open with relative ease. Your child’s lunchbox should most definitely be child accessible and he or she should have some say as to what goes in it. Here’s another helpful link to explore with even healthier lunchbox ideas. http://www.freshforkids.com.au/lunch_box/lunch_box.html
Good Luck and Happy Lunch Packing!
These tips are brought to you by The Children's Workshop team in Waltham, MA. Our experienced team of early childhood educators is committed to the unique development of each child. All of our teachers provide ongoing classroom support, supervision and continuing education for our families.