Parents of first time kindergarteners often wonder what to put in their child’s lunch. What kind of lunch box/bag is best? Do I send pre-packaged foods or make sure everything is homemade? Should I worry if my child doesn’t eat what I have packed?
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Your child is learning to balance the social aspect of eating in a group with his actual hunger.
- Often for the first time, your child will be choosing what and how much of his lunch to eat. He may eat only one or two items. Make sure all choices are healthy ones.
- There is no “right” lunch box/bag. Just be sure your child can open all containers used.
- Fresh foods are the best. Pre-packaged foods, although convenient for you, are often high in sugar, fat, salt or artificial chemicals.
- Pack the healthy foods your child is used to eating; carrot sticks and humus, apple slices and cheese, or even a good old peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread.
- Juice is generally high in sugar, so milk or water are better beverage choices. Beware of “juice drinks”. They usually have very little nutrition in them.
- A little “I love you” note can go a long way. Slip in a happy face or a sticker on the sandwich bag to let your child know you are thinking of him.
When the day is over, provide a healthy snack and some “down time” to unwind from the day. Even little kids need that time to refresh and refuel!