The foodie boy began kindergarten yesterday (sniff), and now that I’ve successfully packed my first two brown bag lunches I thought I’d pass on my expert advice. Kidding — but I am employing a couple strategies learned from our summer experimentation. And I welcome any tips from those of you with more experience than I!
3 Strategies for a Successful School Lunch
1. Ask your child. Whether it’s asking them for a list of approved items or letting them select ingredients at the grocery, buy-in is key for ensuring they’ll eat what you pack. (Just take care to avoid the junk food aisles if you can.) And if your kids are old enough, have them help prepare their lunch, too.
2. Embrace comfort foods. I wouldn’t call the boy a picky eater, but he does tend to go through phases — particularly in times of change — where he may ask for macaroni and cheese each night. (He even requested it for his birthday party.) We’re taking things easy this first week and using his favorite snacks as building blocks — nuts, berries, cheese, etc.
3. Think outside the bread. We don’t eat a lot of sandwiches at home (aside from grilled cheese), so I shouldn’t have been surprised that the boy is slow to warm up to the idea of a cold sandwich. More appetizing, in his opinion, have been almond butter on rice cakes and cream cheese on cinnamon raisin English muffins. Meat and cheese roll-ups were also a hit.
He ate every morsel of his lunch yesterday, so I think we’re off to a good start. What have you packed for lunch this week?
I’m also pleased to share a giveaway and special offer to help you pack all-natural lunches for your kids:
Annie’s Homegrown, Stonyfield YoKids, Honest Kids and Seventh Generation have teamed up to help families toss their brown bags this back-to-school season by offering a free Kids Konserve lunch sack with the purchase of participating products through September 30, 2011.
Consumers are invited to visit Annies.com/bts11, print out the form then mail in proof of purchase of all four brands. Eligible products include:
- Any Annie’s Homegrown item
- Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt 6-packs or Squeezers
- Honest Kids Organic Drinks 8-pack carton or 64-ounce bottle
- Seventh Generation Disinfectants (sprays or wipes)
BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: FIVE FoodieTots readers will win a free lunch sack with coupons from each of these brands. Simply leave a comment below telling us something you’ve packed for your child’s lunch, before 11:59pm on Sunday, Sept. 11. Winners will be selected at random and notified by email on Monday.
For additional chances to win:
* “like” FoodieTots on Facebook, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do),
* “follow” FoodieTots on Twitter, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do), &/or
* “subscribe” to FoodieTots via RSS or email, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do).
Thanks for entering — and I hope you’re having a smooth transition back to school if your kids started this week!
Disclosure: I received a free lunch sack in exchange for hosting this giveaway, but these brands are well-loved by the FoodieTots family. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are our own.