Don’t be stressing yourself over a 10 minute window in your child’s entire day! Lets go through some FAQ, firefight some reoccurring issues and make our lives easier:
-How much do I send = how much would they eat at home. They can always have a second lunch on return if they are weak with the hunger!
-Reduce the chances of panic in the morning and keep a stock of long life carbs and fruit. Sitting there always at your beck and call.
Our house I keep: Pittas, bakey rolls, rice cakes, cream crackers, wraps and breadsticks, dried apricots, peaches, mandarins, cheese triangles.
This way, on the hardest week, you wont be running for lunch bits or adding to your morning rush by having to stop some where. (Tinned fruit and dried fruit every now and then is totally ok, a dietician told me, I’m not an expert so believe her 🤣 @solidstart.ie http://www.solidstarts.ie)
-If you get a fit of baking buns or flapjacks etc. Double it and freeze half. Take a bun or flapjack out the night before and it’ll be defrosted by the time they get to it in school.
-You can freeze pancakes so if you make them at the weekend do extra or bang leftovers in the freezer.
-Apples the most FAQ about Neds lunch “Are his apple slices not brown?” “Will he eat the slices brown?”
They don’t and he does. So prepare for your mind to be blown; Pink Lady Apples don’t brown easily when cut and placed in an airtight container!!!! Your welcome 🤣 Its something to do with its breed of apple don’t ask me but this is what they tell me “they” the apple breeders!
-Easy sources of protein you can bang in a box, hummus, sliced meats, tuna, boiled egg in fingers, mashed egg as filling.
-Most schools and teachers hate yogurts! So don’t be that guy just keep them as after school.
-Enquire if there is a school policy around lunches, whether it is no sweets, nut free or no yogurts, don’t let your toddler be the first one to hear about it. Find out in advance. Save them the stress and possible embarrassment.
-If you have a very fussy eater and they will only eat pasta, toast, chicken nuggets, chips, waffles that kind of thing buy an insulated lunch flask (available at http://www.mummycooks.com) and off they go with no further cooking/prepping/heating needed from school staff. This may seem strange advice but I’ve worked with allot of children with special needs and often this is their diet of choice and often its difficult for a service to provide cooking and heating facilities because of health and safe policies so I feel these flasks are a great solution.
-If you do have a fussy eater check in with the staff from time to time and see if they are showing any interest or curiosity in anyone else’s lunch. Sometimes a peers lunch is a great non confrontational way of exposing and experiencing new foods. If they are curious why not add a small portion to their own lunch over the coming weeks.
-“Not enough time to finish my lunch” causing them stress . Try and teach that its no big deal, we can finish it at home or in the car after school. Sometimes a consistent house rule that everyone allows can be great to diffuse a problem causing anxiety where we don’t have any control. Get them involved in the problem solving, this can be very helpful in reducing big feelings. A solution you’re in control of means you can provide consistency and always follow through which is very reassuring for most children. Plan B reduce the size of the lunch and most importantly once they aren’t actually hungry it really isn’t a big deal.
-Make sure they can use their water bottle. Give it to them to use at home for the day if unsure and you’ll know quick enough if the line isn’t lowering.
-Check if they can open their lunch box.
-Can they ask for help with their lunch or in general? Do they know the teachers names? Can they physically say these names?
If not what could you teach them instead? Try”excuse me”.. It should always get you heard or if verbal isn’t your current strength perhaps an appropriate gesture could be taught eg. Hand up, tap on shoulder or pull of hand.
-How do I teach them how to use these phrases and gestures: practice at home, role play is key, small world play, dress up, play school, books with agenda, drawing and colouring are all great teaching mediums.
The most impressive lunch is a well rounded lunch that’s actually eaten. If that means ham/cheese sandwich and apple every day until Christmas who cares. Remember rule number one in parenting “if aint broke dont fix it”
Good luck xx