School Lunches


Getting ready for school means getting ready for lunches: Who’€™s making them? What’€™s in them? And who is cleaning them out? A little bit of prep now can make things easier and might decrease arguments come September.
Who’€™s making them? If your little one will be involved in making lunches, this is a great time to plan who is doing what. Maybe the youngest is washing fruit while the oldest is making sandwiches. Be clear about the job by answering these questions:

  • What needs to be done?
  • Is it happening the morning of or the night before?
  • What does it look like done right? It might help to take a picture of the finished product and post it somewhere so the kids know what to do.

What’€™s in them? Decide right now on the main components (i.e. protein, starch, fruit, drink and snack). Create a list of the options for each category, as well as which items need an ice pack. You might also want to choose ‘special treat day’ so that the kids know that Wednesday is the day they can take a cookie and they don’€™t need to ask any other day of the week.

Who’€™s cleaning them out? Be clear about what happens with lunch boxes at the end of the day. That way, there isn’€™t any room for negotiation.

  • Is emptying the lunch box the first job after coats are hung up, or does it happen after dinner, when dishes are being done?
  • Do containers get washed out or left for whoever is assigned to dish duty?
  • Ice packs are parked back in the freezer.
  • Who wipes up the spills?

What if they don’€™t eat? Kids in the first grade can have a hard time learning how to eat and socialize at the same time. If your youngster is struggling, make a plan of the one key thing that needs to be eaten, even if all else gets left behind. How many bites need to be taken? Write it on a sticky note and be clear. Learning takes time. Children won’€™t starve themselves and they’€™ll figure it out, eventually.


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