There’s nothing that divides kids and parents like the first day of school. It’s the battle of leaving the summer routine behind and embracing a new one. It’s waking them early when all they want is that extra hour of sleep. It’s convincing them that, yes, it’s time to start wearing shoes again and no, now is not the time to watch cartoons.
But there’s one thing that everyone can agree on and that’s the fact that making and packing a lunch can be a real pain. Well fear not, organizational enthusiasts and dietary dreamers. We’re here to ease those Sunday night lunch-making blunders. With a few tips and tricks, we can make lunch prep as easy as a ride on the playground merry-go-round.
1. It’s all about options
When you’re figuring out what to pack in little Junior’s lunchbox, why not give him two or three options to choose from? This also gives your child a chance to voice his opinions. What kind of foods does he like? Is there a certain veggie he prefers over others? A kid’s taste buds are always evolving, so checking in regularity gives you a chance to keep up.
2. Include your kids in the process
Have your child help out by rolling up tortillas, stuffing baggies with vegetables, or zipping up those ziplock bags. Bringing them in on the job actively involves them in healthy eating and prepares them for exactly what will be on the menu for the following day.
3. Find balance
A healthy balance is important, so make sure you’re fueling your child with lunch items that are healthy and satisfying. A basic school lunch can be broken down into five categories: the main course (sandwiches, tuna salad and crackers etc.), fruits or veggies, a snack (cheese, trail mix etc.), a drink (water, juice etc.), and a treat (fruit snacks, cookies etc.). To maintain a well-rounded lunch, aim to choose one item from at least three of these categories. And remember, high protein foods help to keep your hungry little catepillar fuller for a longer period of time.
4. Stay organised
Consider lunch preparation similar to any other kind of meal preparation. On Sunday, divide and package chopped vegetables and snacks individually into five plastic bags. Keep perishable snacks in a fridge bin that you can pull from each morning, doing the same with snacks like pretzels in a bin. By getting (and staying) organized, you’re eliminating the lunch prep stress from your morning routine, giving you more time for other things… like making sure the littles get up and dressed on time!
5. Strive for healthy
The grocery store can be a battlefield. Sometimes it’s hard to narrow in on the healthy options when it feels like walls of junk food are caving in on you. Not to mention, when a certain small someone is twisting your arm, giving in can seem like the easier option. Avoid the drama by visiting these local businesses and finding all the tasty, healthy yummyness you need!
Antony and Sons
14016 32 Ave #202
Greco’s Specialty Foods
6886 King George Blvd
Fresh Street Market
15930 Fraser Hwy
Photo Cropped, Courtesy of Family Fresh Meals