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:
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!