When I was under the age of 8, my mom often packed my lunch. I’m a picky eater so she was pretty limited when it came to picking certain foods for me to eat for lunch. Keep in mind that at my school there weren’t refrigerators to chill the food, and the food would often sit for at least 3 hours before I ate it. That meant cheese was often gross, by the time I went out to lunch. Fresh fruit was often warm and odd-looking. Vegetables tasted very chewy. The only thing that seemed edible to me was the bag of potato chips, or the bag of chocolate chip cookies. The turkey and cheese sandwich was gross. The container of strawberries was too warm. My drink(whatever it was on the particular day) was too warm. So lunch was always mediocre.
It wasn’t mom’s fault though… I mean like I said, I dissected my food a lot more than the average first, or second grader. My sisters were perfectly okay with warm cheese and unfresh fresh fruit. I wasn’t. At one point, lunchables(pizza ones) became a special treasure. That and of course hot lunch–which was usually me taking my two dollars and indulging in a Honey Bun and Chicken nuggets and Fries. Though, because my mom was very skeptical about the “health” factor in hot lunches, I was rarely given money to buy food. So I suffered. I suffered through hot gross, brown sack lunches.
That meant, that on average, my lunch just was half eaten and wasted. This is why I’m a huge proponent of fresh, good, HEALTHY food-that your child will enjoy so much that he/she won’t feel tempted to have that lunchable, or that hot lunch. This is also to make sure that lunches aren’t being thrown away and that your child is eating an adequate amount of food before coming home.
I have a niece who’s mom packs her lunch in a cooler and it usually consist of: a cute turkey wrap(minus the cheese, and on flat bread), canned fruit, a nutrigrain bar or granola bar, a bag of sun chips and a carton of apple juice. She really enjoys her lunch. And from the sounds of it, it’s completely healthy, tasty, and since it’s put in a cooler lunch bag it’s probably still “fresh”. My niece usually eats the packed lunches and opts from eating hot lunches like her friends.
What’s in your child’s lunch box? How do you keep it fresh, and tasty? And how do you keep your child from being tempted to buy that hot lunch?