Thursday, September 15, 2011

Packing a Healthy Lunch for School

Typical lunch packed for school

One of the things that made me nervous about my son starting kindergarten was that he would have to bring a lunch. He's not terribly hard to please, but I was worried about being able to keep it exciting. And like every child he gets super crabby when he's hungry, so I wanted to make sure he'd have enough to eat. Without us there to remind him to "keep eating" I was also worried that he'd be too concerned with playing and not eat.

So far things are going ok. My Monkey does not care too much about his lunch being exciting. He is more concerned with playing, so his goal is to get his food down so he can play. Sure takes a lot of pressure off me!

His typical lunch consists of a fruit item (sometimes), some veggies (carrot sticks, tomatoes, maybe celery), a quarter of a sandwich...usually peanut butter, salame or turkey, and some Goldfish crackers for snack time. A juice box is thrown in to keep him hydrated.  He is an active 5 year old, but his school day is from 7:45 to noon, so  they eat lunch at 10:45. It's early for him, and it has taken him some time to adjust. In his previous life, 10:30 was a snack time! I learned early on I cannot put a sweet of any kind in his lunch, or he will eat only that and leave the rest. I figure he can have a cookie or something when he gets home if he's been a good boy and has eaten his whole lunch.

Sometimes I run out of time to make myself a lunch, so I rely on Amy's. YUM.

Or, when I've got a spare $10, I splurge at Whole Foods which is next to my office!

I asked him if the teachers have the class wash their hands before lunch. Afterall, the sink is right in their classroom. Apparently in kindergarten they don't. In preschool the teachers had the kids wash their hands even after they came inside to play!  I got an idea from another mom to put a small bottle of sanitizer in his lunch bag so he can clean his hands before he eats.

Monkey also let me know that the yard duty repeatedly reminds the kids to keep eating...I asked curiously the other night at dinner why he kept saying "Let's keep eating!" I am happy about that. The first week or so he would come home and say he didn't have enough time to eat his sandwich but I think he is starting to understand now that he's got to eat and not dawdle around the way he does at home. He is now eating everything! In due time I'm sure I will have to start coming up with more variety but this is working for us for the time being.

What do you pack in your kids lunch for school? Do you find it challenging to keep things interesting AND healthy?


  1. I'm so lucky I don't have to pack a lunch yet. I don't even know what I would do. He is used to getting "meals" and I don't know if he would eat a sandwich.

  2. Yes, it is definitely a challenge keeping my kids' lunches interesting and healthy. Pretty much all the fruit I put in there comes back home (nice and mushy). They like PB&J and turkey bologna sandwiches, but that's it. Yikes!
    PS, I don't see the GFC thingy, where I go to follow your blog...

  3. I'm reading this with great interest, even though it's a long while before Wee 'Burb will end up in school. She's going through a hellish picky phase, which will most certainly need to be dealt with before this time. At the moment she's on a hunger strike.

  4. It's cookies for my kids and lots of water.


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