Many of the great frustrations of parenthood revolve around food.
The makeup of school lunches is one of the many power battles many parents face.
This is not one you, as a parent, can give up on. Food is your child’s fuel and without it, the studies and school work become infinitely more difficult.
Paying attention on an empty stomach is nearly impossible.
If you’re facing this challenge, follow these steps to turn lunch planning and packing into a cooperative activity, a learning experience and up your chances of nutritional success.
1.Bring out the color
With your child, browse healthy recipes and good-for-you favorites in full color cookbooks and on the net.
2. Mark it up
Use bookmarks, post-its, cut up newspapers… whatever it takes. Choose your weapon and let your child pick the most tempting offerings.
3. Make your menu
If you have more than one child, do your best to get some daily consensus for your own sanity. Then, choose a venue for your menu. There are numerous free menu templates available online. Pick the most inviting one you can find or make your own. Once chosen, print it out and allow your children to decorate it with all the glitz and kitsch necessary it takes for them to claim it as their own.
4. Go container shopping
Of course, once again, give free reign. You’ll need a lunch bag or box, both of which can be purchased in insulated versions to keep fresh produce at its best. Take a look at your menu to see if you’ll be needing a thermal jar for soups, casseroles or other favorite hot or cold foods.
It’s especially important to check reviews on thermal bottles, as you want to make sure your food is going to stay hot or cold for the necessary span of time. Lukewarm tomato soup or cold mac and cheese is going to through you right back to the drawing board.
5. Get cooking
If you’re lucky enough to have chosen freezable items, make cooking together a fun activity. Whip up enough of The Chosen Recipes to keep yourselves going for the first couple weeks of school, glitch-free.
To keep up the excitement until school starts, consult your calendar every few days and ooh and ah over what you would be eating for lunch, were this a school day.
Anticipation and excitement are our battle assistants on this one. Make good use of them both!