At this time of year, many ELCs and childcares are transitioning the preschool program into the “Getting ready for school” part of their program.

School uniforms and lunch boxes are the two big areas that little ones (and parents) are interested in and worried about.

In this post I wanted to give you some simple tips and also some resources you can access to help support the little ones in you life work through what a lunch box and lunch time at school, will be like.

The three areas I like to talk about with kiddies in preschool are:

  • What will the meal breaks be and in what order?

This will help them figure out the routine of the day and also help understand the lunchbox containers and what could go in each style of container. Every school is different.

  • What could we pack in the lunchbox?

Rather then, what should be packed in there? We are trying to initiate a conversation. This could be done alongside the meal breaks. What could we pack in our crunch and sip box? What could we pack in our main lunchbox? What drink could we bring?

  • “Let’s make our own lunchbox!”

This is the fun part. Getting the children to make and create, if not all, part of their lunchboxes.

 

This post of mine breaks down the above areas a little more.

What could we pack into a lunchbox?

In regards to what goes into a lunchbox, I follow the very simple guidelines of including:

  • Leftovers #leftoversarelife or a sandwich or wrap
  • Adding plants (fruits and veg)
  • Adding a variety of food groups (protein, veg, fruit, complex carbs, calcium rich foods, good fats)
  • Eating a rainbow, all the colours
  • Add water, always water!

 

Remember that every child is unique and all are on their own “learning about food” journey. If they aren’t up to eating falafel, quinoa salads, that is ok! A jam sandwich to start is fine, it is something to slowly build upon as time goes on. This lunchbox game is a long one, so step on for the ride.

The important thing is for children to workshop what they would like in their lunchboxes, within perhaps a loose framework of above, but one by that they have some choice. This can then be given to parents to talk further with the kiddlywinks.

If you need some ideas you can have a look below for some recipes, or on my Instagram account under #littlepeoplelunchbox or perhaps in the menu range I have on offer.

Below I have also included two videos for you to peruse. The first one I show you how quick it can be to pack of a scrummy lunchbox when you have a bit of prep under your belt. It also gives some examples of lunchbox containers and perhaps combinations of lunchbox ideas.

The second video is of me packing a lunchbox with one of my daughters a few years back. Kids often love watching other kids do things!

And the little Foodie tale below is a great way to talk about how children often will have different lunch boxes to your own. Every family is unique. But it is kind to be respectful of what they are eating.

Of course though, we do not share food at school! Especially in kindy!

I hope this has given you a few ideas for how you can work through lunchboxes and how you can talk about them with your little one/s, whether you are a parent or an educator.

If you need any follow up advice, flick me an email at mandy@littlepeoplenutrition.com.au or of course I can come out an either run a lunchbox incursion with the little people or perhaps a workshop with educators or parents!

 

We also have heaps of family friendly recipes (and lunch box recipes) in our Little People Menu range.