After breakfast, lunch is arguably one of the most important meals for children. When they are at school, this is what keeps their energy up and sustains them until they come home – but it’s also the one time when you’re not directly there to watch them. So how can you make sure they’re eating correctly?
Sending children off with prepared food has its advantages. For a start, it’s often cheaper, especially when you have more than one child. Secondly, you’re in control of what they eat. This does, of course, leave you with the challenge of kids lunch box ideas – so what do you need to know?
First of all, you can serve something simple if you vary it once in a while. The traditional sandwich, for instance, is something that’s easy to make and can be done on a budget. Bread and other ingredients are cheap and can be used more than once, making every sandwich cheaper. Yet a sandwich is a very versatile meal. You can serve a ham sandwich one day and a turkey sandwich the next. It’s a little different, but it keeps an element of surprise that your child may find more enjoyable.
Likewise, it’s also useful to adopt this approach when dealing with different children and different tastes. Catering to individual needs is easier if the basics, such as making sandwiches, are kept the same. It also allows you to add salad or slowly encourage new foods through something they are more familiar with.
Treats and rewards
Whilst healthy eating itself is important, treats and rewards, such as sweets, can be used to tempt children. Provided they don’t just eat the sweets, it can encourage children to eat their school lunch and make them actively look forward to it.
In a similar fashion, sauce and other flavourings can be used to hide anything your child specifically dislikes – or at least claims to dislike! If there is something they like, this flavour can be used to encourage them to tuck in.
In closing, these are just a few ideas to help you create the perfect packed lunch for your child. Whether it’s time for them to go back to school or you’re just trying to offer an affordable, healthy and enjoyable meal for your children, feeding the kids when they’re at school always presents a few problems but there are answers for any wise and creative parent.