Last week kids went back to school and it an attempt to inspire moms to pack healthy lunches for their kiddos I’ve created the Healthy School Lunch Challenge Week! The challenge was run through my personal FB profile and the idea was basically to take a picture of the lunch box before it was sent out to school as well as a picture of how it returned home.
This is the first year that I have to pack two school lunches, as my youngest daughter started JK! I know many moms have a love-hate relationship with packing school lunches; on the one hand we are happy that kids will eat food from home, but on the other it can become pretty daunting to pack lunches daily.
I just want you to know that you are not alone! We are all in this together, and I hope this post will give you some ideas.
I’d like to thank all the wonderful mommies who participated in the challenge and shared their pictures and well as insights. You Are Awesome! even if you don’t hear this from your kids, I am here to remind you again and again that you really are!
Here’s the recap of the first school week from day 1 (Sept 8th) until day 4 (Sept 11th):
Healthy School Lunches Challenge Day #1:
Here’s what I’ve packed for day 1: chickpeas with tomatoes salad, eggs, cucumbers, raspberries, a homemade oatmeal cookie and four chocolates circles for a little treat. The main dish was a bit different since my youngest won’t eat the chickpea salad, but she likes the eggs.
Here are a few ideas from other moms who participated in the challenge:
Julia packed fresh figs with coconut chips and dehydrated beans along with a chocolate zucchini cake. Yum!
Erin packed: blackberries, cucumbers, 2 homemade grain-free carrot muffins and a sandwich, here’s the before and after pics.
Here’s what Yael packed for her son:
Healthy School Lunches Day #2:
Here’s what I packed for day 2:
For my youngest daughter – yellow peppers, unsalted pretzels, carrot sticks and vegan mac and cheese.
For my oldest daughter – yellow peppers, carrot sticks, vegan mac and cheese with a drizzle of organic ketchup and a tuna sandwich.
Here’s how it came back home:
Here’s what Ilanit packed for her daughter’s lunch: Tuna sandwich ,cucumbers, Melon, strawberries and oat bar.
Healthy School Lunches Challenge Day #3:
Here’s what I’ve packed for my kids on day 3:
for youngest – avocado sandwich, snap peas, sushi bread (with butter) and Nature’s Path “cheerios”.
for oldest – chickpea salad (with onions and tomato), beef patties with dipping sauce, sushi bread (with raspberry jam) and snap peas.
Here’s how it returned home:
We’ve had a little accident with one of the lunches, as the dipping sauce spilled over the entire lunch box. Totally my fault! Should have packed it in the container provided by PlanetBox!
Healthy School Lunches Challenge Day #4:
Here’s what I packed for day 4:
for youngest – avocado sandwich, whole cucumber, cherry tomatoes, blackberries
for oldest – toasted bread slices with babaganoush for dipping, cherry tomatoes, whole cucumber.
Here’s how they returned home:
Here’s what Andrea packed for her son: Hard boiled eggs, Mary’s crackers, hummus… Gluten free rice chips from lunenberg…
Lessons Learned At The End Of Challenge
It is pretty obvious that my youngest daughter is a little bit harder to feed as most of her lunches returned fuller relative to her sister’s lunches. The interesting part is that it has been like this since she was a baby. My oldest was a great eater, she ate almost everything I gave/give her but my youngest is very much different. However, I refuse labeling her a “picky eater” as I believe that everyone is entitled to have their own preferences with regards to food and it is not my job to feed her with vegetables at all cost. Our job as parents is to teach our children to have a positive relationship with food, after all they will have to eat at least three times a day for the rest of their lives.
Human beings are different by nature and the same is true with regards to their eating preferences. During the challenge s few moms asked me why I pack different lunches and the answer is simple: you know your kids best, and have a pretty good idea of what they will or won’t eat. Set yourself and them for success, pack food that they enjoy eating, don’t make them feel like they disappoint you by not eating what you’ve packed for them. Believe me, kids want to have your approval and every time you open their lunch box with the food untouched they feel like they’ve done something wrong. This is NOT what you want to teach them!
In case your kids’ food repertoire is limited, I advise you to come up with a list of at least 10 foods they enjoy eating (and you approve of) and just mix and match it in their lunch. By packing the same lunch every single day you are programming their pallets to prefer this particular food over other foods.
I would love to hear from you!
Are your kids also different eaters? How are they different? How are you coping with their differences? Share in the comments section below 🙂