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Packing lunches that your kids will actually eat.

Food is, surprisingly a hot potato topic, but I’m going to address it here anyway; since it’s more than okay to agree to disagree on all things, food included. Especially when it comes to vegan, vegetarian, allergies, etc, etc, etc.  And because of this, there’s a lot of parent shaming that goes on around packed lunches, which I personally thinks is absolutely asinine.  I mean, first off, we don’t know what somebody’s financial position is, and maybe that’s why a mom or dad who is working multiple jobs doesn’t have any time to cut their kids sandwiches into stars, and make them homemade yogurt sweetened with stevia for lunch.  Some parents don’t have the time, or the money, and that’s just fine.  My mom didn’t, and you know what?  There were days when we had run out of bologna, yes, bologna, and I had to make due with a butter and mustard sandwich, another favorite was mustard, ketchup and relish on white bread, or a butter and sugar sandwich.

Yeah I know, weird, but I loved them, and when the “good stuff” ran out, because there were three of us kids, which meant more hunger in a week then her salary could cover, we had to improvise lunch.  So my brothers and I substituted cold cuts with our personal favourites.  One of mine in case you couldn’t tell was butter.  It worked for us, and you know what, we actually had no idea that we were poor, or that our lunches were unusual, because back in the day, in the 70’s people minded their own GD business about what kids who weren’t theirs were having for lunch.

So, packing a healthy lunch starts with parents packing a healthy mind their business attitude toward kids who don’t belong to them.  From there, I think we can all agree on the fact that we now know that too much sugar is not a good thing.  I don’t need to list all the reasons here, but suffice it to say, that the main one is the concentration crash that happens after sugar has been consumed, that makes your child excelling in their afternoon classes more challenging.  If you want to give them treats, that’s totally cool, but look for healthy alternatives that don’t involve sugar, or food colouring and other things that we all know are not good for any of us.  And if your kid loves candy, or chips and soda, make these weekend treats, and keep them out of their lunch boxes.  I really believe that “treats” should be given at home and not at school in the middle of the day.  I think kids need all the support throughout their days to be able to focus on the task at hand which is trying to learn at school in a system that is brutally antiquated.

Don’t even get me started on that…

I enlisted my girls in prepping their lunches, because I mean nobody knows better what they want then them, am I right??  I used to ask them what they would like to have so that it took out the guessing work, and ensured that food was eaten and not wasted.  They all went through phases:  there was the yogurt craze, then the mini cheese craze, the boiled egg phase, the leftover from dinner phase.  Their palettes were always changing so I made sure that I kept the lunch box dialogue going, which allowed me to be confident that when they got to their lunch hour, I knew for certain they were going to open up their lunch boxes and be excited for everything that was inside it.  And you know what that means don’t you?  If they’re excited about it, and they picked it they’re going to eat every bit of it, which means no waste.  And in today’s world, that’s a very responsible and respectful thing to do and to teach them.

Happy lunch box packing parents!

xo

Shantelle

2 Comments

  1. My boy was so easy to please – just 2 or 3 sandwiches, a yoghurt (or 2), 2 or 3 pieces of fruit, a couple of muesli bars and about 200gm of dried fruit and nuts. His lunch box was a Tupperware cake carrier that always came home empty with him crying ‘I’m hungry’. Used to think he had worms, but he was just a growing boy who played a lot of sport.

  2. It is wonderful to have you back!! Got some wonderful news yesterday!! Going to be a grandma for the third time!! Great gift for my soon to be 64th birthday! xo

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