What’s In Kids Lunch Boxes?
When I was growing up I had the benefit of a stay at home mom. She cooked, she cleaned, she did laundry, she made my bed…in short she spoiled me rotten.
My dad was the bread winner and my mom kicked serious butt at being a mom. This is rarely the case in today’s world. There are a lot of good reasons for this, we seem to spend more, women are now empowered to follow a career path, which is awesome! But with less and less moms staying home, our children’s lunch boxes and our dinner tables are suffering in a major way. And that’s not even to say anything about breakfast, who has time for that?
As a result the nutritional value of almost every meal has gone downhill. In my experience the worst offender is lunch. Lunches are difficult and requires some creativity. It’s hard to serve a hot meal in the classroom and so instead we fill our kid’s lunch boxes with dunkaroos, wagon wheels, cheese sticks, goldfish and other processed food which don’t provide the proper fuel. It’s no wonder North American students continue to fall further and further back of the pack. I know personally, it’s hard to operate in the afternoon when I’m running on donuts and coffee. I also have a lot more mental fortitude and can suck it up because there is a deadline to meet. If I was a thirteen year old listening to my teacher talk about vectors I would be half a sleep.
Packing A Better Lunch
So how can we send our kids to school with the proper foods so they have a chance to stay awake during third period? Start by including fresh fruit and vegetables in their lunches. I received a lot of resistance to this when I first started packing healthier lunches years ago. I solved this problem by negotiating, they could pick the fruit and they could pick the vegetable but one of each would be going into their lunch and I expected them to eat it.
Homemade soup is a favourite in our household. Making a large pot of soup and freezing leftovers is a great idea. A thermos is one of the few methods that allows for a hot meal. Sandwiches are always a good option, but of course they can get boring, so mix it up with different ingredients and avoid sending them with a cheese and ham sandwich every day.
It Starts In the Morning
They say breakfast is the most important meal and it took me a while before I really didn’t believed it. My mornings start with a Green Smoothie, and recently my kids have started to join me in this ritual. If you can’t get them to drink a green smoothie, opt for oatmeal or eggs. Something that will provide some fuel for the day ahead of them.