This post came about after reading about the “Pink Slime” in the Huffington Post this morning. Getting good and nutritious food for our school kids is such an important issue as it can affect so many aspects of their lives: learning ability, emotions, and physical activity. Having a well fed kid can make the difference in their attitude and how they interact with those around them. The most immediate thing I can think of to help combat the food problem in schools today is to pack your kids lunches yourself. Next would be advocating for better lunches to be served in schools, but who knows how long this process might take? I would love to give Jamie Oliver a high five and join him in his crusade to improve school lunches. What we can all do right now is to sign his petition for better school lunches.
Here is what I am doing:
This year my little dude started preschool, and with preschool came my first foray into lunch packing for the kiddo. The school had some requirements: no packaged foods that have sugar as a main ingredient, no cookies or candy, and it must be packed in something that can be opened and closed by the kids themselves.
The first thing I tackled was the packaging. I took O to The Container Store and wandered down the lunch box aisle and had him practice opening and closing a variety of lunch boxes. We finally settled on this one. It holds a sandwich and fruits, veggies or crackers, and fits perfectly in the insulated lunch bag I found on the next aisle over (I was going to make one but I couldn’t beat the price). The downside of this box is that it does not hold soupy things (yogurt or applesauce) or juicy things (kiwis or sweet potatoes) and it is the only thing that fits in the bag so there is not room for a second container for the soupy and juicy lunch items. But it has served us well since September.
The items I pack are usually a PB and jam or honey sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread, apples, carrots, and almonds or crackers. Sometimes I will try to slip in some celery sticks or cauliflower to see what happens, but they usually come home uneaten. My philosophy on food with my family is whole grains as much as I can and always offering a range of vegetables and fruit. I don’t get too hung up if he doesn’t eat everything I offer. I believe just having it around and being exposed to it will serve him well as he grows up and develops his own eating habits.
So if you can: brown bag it!
What do you pack for lunch for your kiddos? Share with us below in the comments or on our Facebook page.