Non-Eaten Lunch

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We are partway through the first week of school. How is packing those lunches going? Hopefully for now, great. In another few weeks, we may need to talk again.

My kids make their own lunches, which I found helped when they kept bringing their lunch home uneaten. Now that my eldest is in high school, I will see how that works out as they have a cafeteria and she has her own money. I’ll need to set some boundaries around that for sure!

For the younger kids, starting school and that whole new routine can be overwhelming. They don’t get much time to dine on their well-packed and thought-out lunch, and that can lead to worry and after-school meltdowns.

Here are 5 tips to encourage an empty lunch box:

  1. Don’t overfill it. They only have so much time to eat and can be distracted by friends. Giving too much food can feel overwhelming and, depending on your child, can make them choose the easiest thing to eat. Not necessarily the healthiest.
  2. Keep it simple. Protein is essential to balance out the carbs, so there must be some meat, cheese, pulses (lentils or beans – think hummus), quinoa (some kids like it), seeds or seed butter, eggs, or fish along with the bread or grains. Toothpick skewers are always a hit with a piece of cheese and fruit, like grape, pineapple or tomato.
  3. Get them involved. They have a say in what goes into the lunchbox. If it wouldn’t get eaten at home, it’s likely not going to be eaten at school. Teach what makes a healthy and energy-packed lunch and discuss how they felt in the afternoon and after school after different meals. Write down options and let them have a say about what the next day’s lunch is. And even get help packing it!
  4. Only send healthy foods. You aren’t there to reinforce that good foods should be eaten first, so if you see that the wee chocolate bar or other sweet treat is eaten but not the healthy portion of the lunch, then it goes. Plain and simple. Better yet, don’t send anything sweet and just pack fruits or veggies.
  5. Supplement what’s missing. Sometimes deficiencies can show when a limited diet is eaten, so keep the essentials going on via a supplement. Probiotics are needed for the immune and digestive systems. A multinutrient supplement like PediatriVite or Children’s Chewables are both excellent options. If appetite seems to be diminishing, add in Bio Cell Salts (email to order) to give the 12 essential minerals that help boost appetite.

It can take months for some kids to find their groove at school. Supporting them with great food while they’re there and healthy snacks when they come home will keep their brains and bodies in tip-top shape for what’s to come.

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