Figuring out what to make every day for lunch has proven to be a bit more of a challenge than I originally thought when my 3 year old daughter started school this year! She loves eating just about anything and everything but apparently once it’s in her lunchbox it’s time to be picky about it! All of that being said, we’re into a routine now and she’s getting the hang of it – for the first time since school started she ate absolutely everything in her lunch yesterday!!
In our house we do a lot of compartmentalized eating for the kids, not because anyone gets upset when things touch but it’s just easier to serve (and eat) out of those separated plates so once school started we knew the Bento box idea was going to be a winner. We started with the Laptop Lunch containers and I sat down with my daughter to practice opening and closing every container just so I knew she could actually get into her food throughout the day. She loves the colours and the idea of little boxes so we were on a roll already – now comes the next challenge: what do we pack?
For her first day we talked about what I was going to put in her lunch and we agreed on what would go in there – this is easy, what was I so worried about? The items we agreed on were: a wrap with turkey, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, sliced cheese, pretzel goldfish, raisins and an apple sauce ‘squeezie’ – I also tucked in a little box of smarties for her first day. All sounds good, all things she loves to eat, day one down! Well, when she came home – barely half of it was gone. The smarties were her favourite part (of course) and the rest of it was pretty much picked over at best. Their teacher sends everything home that was not eaten so that we can know what was eaten and what was left. We talked about why she didn’t eat a lot of lunch and it came down to being too busy to eat and not liking certain things at school. After that we have gone through and figured out what she likes and doesn’t like as well as what will actually get eaten so it has been a process since then.
What we’ve learned so far is: (1) the larger bento box itself is hard for her to open so we’ve gotten rid of that in her lunch – maybe Mommy will use it when she goes back to work because I LOVE it! (2) Less choices and less food overall, there’s too much going on to sit and eat as she would at home. (3) Any food that IS left over makes a GREAT after school snack and she knows that’s the way it goes – if she’s hungry after school, lunch gets finished first before anything else! Our next hurdle now that the weather is getting cooler is going to be using a thermos for warm lunches!
I know this first post is a long one but I am planning to update at least once a week with what we’re putting in lunches and how that part is going since it seems to be a big hurdle when kids first start school! Here’s to many, many, many more days of packing lunches for my kiddos!