Many years ago, we all carried our lunch to school in metal lunch boxes with real thermoses. But for parents today, the reusable box has given way to the paper bag and box of juice.
As back to school prep begins, remember that the old-fashioned lunch box is a great way to teach your kids about conserving resources. And, it gives you a unique way to connect with your kids while they’re away during the day.
Here are a few ideas to get you started in “lunchbox parenting.”
Give your child the element of surprise when she opens her lunchbox by providing her food in unexpected ways.
- Cut sandwiches into fun shapes or use a cookie cutter to make “Peanut Butter and Jelly Stars.”
- Include a treat they only get from their lunchbox, like a favorite yogurt or pecans.
- Use a small thermos to give them their favorite soup for a hot meal.
Provide Healthy Foods
Since you’re packing the lunch, you get to decide what they eat, so why not up your game a little?
- Keep your white flour products to a minimum, instead choosing whole grain alternatives.
- Cut your own real carrot or celery sticks instead of buying pre-processed baby carrots.
- In fact, instead of carrots or celery, why not give them a variety by packing jicama sticks or raw green beans.
Stimulate Their Minds
You’ve got a captive audience, don’t let that opportunity to connect slip away!
- Include a note that gives them encouragement for their day.
- Cut out a cartoon or joke they can share with their friends at lunch to increase their social interaction.
- Write a quote or “point to ponder” they can think about and discuss with you when they get home.
There are so many distractions as school gets underway each fall. This year, let the reusable lunchbox be a gateway to help you stay involved in your child’s life, set a good example, and provide a delicious, nutritious meal they’ll love.