From packing the perfect lunch box to making school lunch a positive experience, there is so much to consider with school-aged children. Here are 10 tips to help you out.
1. Involve your child in the planning of a school lunch shopping list. Not only will involvement improve the chances of your child enjoying the lunch, it will minimize items that you could be stuck with or will be thrown away.
2. Let your child get excited about school lunch by allowing him or her to pick out a lunch box or decorate lunch bags.
3. According to new USDA guidelines, a balanced lunch includes half your plate fruits and vegetables, at least half your grains whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
4. Allow your child to help you pack the lunch box the night before school. This is a good way to help your child make good decisions.
5. A water bottle can be frozen and placed in the lunch box on warmer days. It will probably be perfect at lunch time. Some school will allow children to keep the bottle with them during the rest of the school day.
6. Don’t forget to take the weather conditions and lunch time into consideration when packing a lunch and keeping it safe. For information on storage, check out the USDA website.
7. Put an encouraging note into the lunch box for your child to surprise your child.
8. Ask your child what kinds of food items other children are finding in their lunch box. You never know what new and wonderful items that your child might enjoy you can learn about.
9. Don’t forget to pack a napkin, a wet-wipe, utensils, and anything else you would want also included in your lunch box.
10. If you are able to, make a plan to come to school to eat lunch with your child. Some schools will even have special days for this.