Learn with Lunch Boxes

Do you realize what we can learn with lunch boxes? See some of the lessons I learned in one year's worth of sending school lunches for my little eater.

Learn with Lunch Boxes

PB&Js. Goldfish crackers. An apple. A chewy granola bar. Done.

Before I became a pediatric dietitian, I am pretty sure that is what I would've tossed in the lunch bag for my kid every day. It seems simple to prepare, easy to eat at school, and sure to please just about every kid (without a peanut allergy).

Yet that's exactly the problem.

We try to please our kids with everything we put on their plates, or in this case, their lunchboxes.

We forget that there is a lot to learn with lunch boxes.

What if all parents took advantage of the opportunities to expose our kids to new foods, tempt them to believe real food is fun, and help them to adopt healthy eating habits that change the course of how they eat -- forever?

Now I know that statement may sounds a bit dramatic. We are talking about lunch boxes after all!

But too many parents don't see a brown bag, bento box, or any lunch box in between as a chance for parents to learn how to feed and kids to learn how to eat - all more healthfully.

How much can we learn from lunch boxes, as parents preparing them and our children who eat them?

The answer is: a lot.


When my daughter started day school two days a week last year, I began to realize what there was to learn with lunch boxes. I had a 20 month-old independent eater. She refused so, so many of the items I sent. At first, I admit it was semi-heart breaking.

What was I doing wrong?

Oh that's right, I wasn't sending PB&Js, Goldfish crackers, an apple, and a chewy granola bar. The very staples I knew she would eat any and every time.

Instead, I was offering her the foods she loved, while also encouraging her to like foods that maybe weren't her favorites. I was pushing her to learn new foods. It wasn't an easy process. But we both grew a lot over the course of the school year.

Here is a glimpse at what I learned with lunch boxes:

Food Ideas

Easy Mac Made Even Easier

Rotisserie Chicken

Limiting Processed Meats

Feeding Opportunities

Delegating Lunch Packing Duties

Fine Motor Activities at Meal Time

Food Exposures that Work

Learning it food turned loving it

Lunchbox Love

Make Real Food Fun

Meeting Nutritional Needs with Fruit

Offering Desserts with Meals

Packaging and Kid’s Food

Packing Lunches the Night Before

Simple Lunch Packing Tips to Have on Hand

Feeding Issues

Dealing with Repeated Food Requests

Measuring Success at Meal Times

Fueled for Learning

Taking Days Off

No Forbidden Foods

PSA on Choking Hazards

For plenty more visual ideas of what foods to send, be sure to check out the hashtag #loveitlikeitlearningit on Instagram for all of last school year's lunchboxes.

It's a New School Year

What are you and your child(ren) going to learn with lunch boxes? The power lies in your hands!