Summer is coming to an end and mother’s around the world are rejoicing. It’s time for school!
It’s time to send the kiddos off for learning and fun. This means getting back into a school year routine.
If you have picky eaters, a major part of that routine is coming up with school lunch ideas for picky eaters. 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.
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Why Pack School Lunches?
There are multiple reasons why you might decide to pack school lunches. Your child may not like the majority of the items on their school’s lunch menu or it might be more economical to pack school lunches than to purchase lunch from the school.
If your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, packing lunches is a must. More importantly, packing a lunch allows you to include healthy foods your child will actually eat and it doesn’t have to cost any more than what you would be paying for lunch at school.
Packing school lunches has its advantages. However, packing a lunch every day doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away from junk food.
The key then is to find those special gems that your child loves and enjoys eating.
How to Pack School Lunches for Picky Eaters?
Here are a few tips to get you started with packing school lunches for your picky eaters.
Tip #1 – Start With Your Child
The simplest solution is often overlooked. The best place to start is to get your child involved.
Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, but being in charge of packing their lunch will also teach them responsibility.
Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with lunches they will eat. For older kids that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision of course).
Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. 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.
Along the way, you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.
Tip #2 – Make A Shopping List
Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box. Get them to help you make a list of all of the items they would like to see in their lunch box.
Be sure to include a variety of food and drink options. Also make sure you have the proper containers to keep food, cold, hot, or from getting smashed.
Make a list of options and then head to the store so you have everything you need for the first week of school.
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Tip #3 – Balance Healthy & Fun
Packed school lunches don’t have to be boring or bland. Get creative and pack school lunches that will be the envy of the class.
This doesn’t mean loads of junk food. Encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods. Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy though.
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 Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.
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School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters
The very fact that we are focusing on school lunch ideas for picky eaters makes these suggestions easily questionable. Every picky eater is different, therefore coming up with a list that all picky eaters will love is impossible.
Here are a few common suggestions for lunches for picky eaters. But keep in mind that you should choose foods that your picky eater likes.
- Macaroni and Cheese (my daughter’s favorite)
- DIY “Lunchables” – Deli Meat, Cheese, and Crackers
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Soup (your child’s favorite)
- Chicken Nuggets with their favorite Dipping Sauces
- Muffins (Banana, Apple, Blueberry, or any flavor your kids like)
- Peanut Butter & Jelly (Try Creative Shapes)
Make Packed School Lunches Easy
Your kids know what they like. Join forces with your kids and you will make packing school lunches easy. Most importantly, they will be lunches that your kids will actually eat.
Leave a comment and share your lunch ideas for picky eaters.
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