If you know of certain foods which your child simply doesn’t like or enjoy eating, it is recommended to avoid it completely in the lunchbox. There are several other times during the day where you can attempt to introduce these foods instead. Have a chat with them to understand more about their likes and dislikes; for example: What sandwiches they would prefer? What are their favorite fruits? And which ones are out of the question? What kind of cheeses do they prefer? Do they get bored of the same meals easily or do they prefer having their favorite sandwich over and over again?
You may discover that they love some types of healthy foods and don’t get tired of eating them, which would allow you to explore preparing them in various ways.
All kids love junk food - that’s a given. If you’re not packing it for them, they will find a way to consume them. Knowing your kids’ preferences will make it easier to find healthier alternatives to snacks they enjoy. For example: if they love gummy bears, they can have a jelly fruit roll packed with vitamins instead for dessert.
Make sure the lunchbox is packed with different flavors that can be enjoyed at different times. The lunchbox must-haves include a main meal (like a sandwich), a light snack (like some cut up fruits or vegetables) and a refreshing drink (like a milkshake or fresh juice).
Write a warm message that’s sure to put a smile on your kid’s face. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way! You can perhaps leave a sticker that they can make a collection out of on the outside of their lunch box. Or occasionally, you can leave a small toy or a riddle for them to solve so that they look forward to seeing what’s next every time they open their lunch box.
The trick is not to place an element of surprise in there all the time, but just so often that they don’t get bored of another regular lunch break meal. If you have the time, you can even turn the meals into fun shapes for extra entertainment.
Although this is not a 100% lunchbox related, it can offer you important insights into your kid’s day to day when you’re not around. With our own busy lifestyles, we are all guilty of sometimes sidetracking essential quality time with our kids. If possible, try to schedule sometime every day after school or on the drive back home to know more about your child’s day: what they ate, who they played with, what they liked and didn’t like about their day.
Some children may not have an appetite due to some problems they are facing with their classmates, or they simply may be stressed for reasons you may be unaware of. A daily catch up can offer them a safe space to express themselves and will also strengthen the bond and trust you have with each other.
Reward systems can vary from child to child. For some, a reward maybe “If you drink your milk every day, your bones will get stronger, so you can do whatever you like when you grow up.” In this case, by explaining the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals and their role in your child’s development, you can instill a reason for your kids to finish their meals.
Whereas for other kids, a reward maybe “If you finish your meals at school every day, we’ll go to your favorite play area on the weekend, and you can have your favorite ice cream.” The best way to find you what works best for your kid is experimentation so be open to trying it out and being creative with your “reward system”.
We hope that you find the above suggestions useful to make lunchtime more appealing for your little ones and help fast-track you into knowing and preparing their favorite meals using a wide range of Puck products!