Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'm running out of ideas....

By Jeanette Andrade MS,RDN,LDN

My kids are back in school, for some this would be a joyous occasion, but not for me as now I have to pack their lunch every day. I do not mind packing lunch, but there are times both my kids and I are spent with ideas, especially when we are trying to decide what to have for lunch the night before. Typically my kids resort to a turkey and cheese sandwich or whole-grain waffles or a jelly sandwich, but even then five days a week of rotating between those become boring. Their side choices even become monotonous as it generally is yogurt and a piece of fruit. I wish I could be more creative and make fun little sculptures or designs on their bread as I have seen done (of course the websites of these awesome designs I cannot find) or just get them to explore other options for a sandwich besides whole wheat bread (yes the kind that actually contains more than 1 gram of fiber per serving) and turkey or jelly and also different types of sides. So, what do I do?

Well, the only thing that seems to work for what the family will have for dinner: a Mommy/Child school lunch menu. This is the first year we have tried this menu, so who knows what month my kids will become tired of this hour long activity. This is how I set it up, every Saturday my kids and I sit down and we plan out for the week what they will have for lunch. I take care of the main dish and they take care of the side dishes. Sometimes there are disagreements about what they will have as a main dish, so it is settled by having 2 main dishes listed and different colors to differentiate between which kid is getting which dish. I know I should just say, “It’s X’s turn to decide on the main dish for Monday”, but oh well. I also tell them they have to make a rainbow every week for the sides they choose and if they get stuck we start listing off all the fruits and vegetables that are red or orange or yellow, etc. until they agree on a fruit or vegetable they are willing to bring.  To me, this is a fun, educational opportunity for my kids as they are learning why the main food groups are good for them, especially the variety they are eating. In any case, if you are not already doing something like this, try it out and let me know how it works for you and your family. Here’s to no more running out of school lunch ideas!


24 Wellness said...

Nice post! I think the Mommy/Child school lunch menu is a great approach to include your children in the food choices.

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