School dinners may be easier than preparing packed lunches for your kids every day but do you ever wonder what benefits you are depriving your children of when you do not provide them with a packed lunch? I bet you don’t. In this day and age, packed lunches can often seem to be the unpopular option but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the better option. Let me give you a deeper insight into the positives of packed lunches for both yourself and your children. Talking about positives its always a good idea to work with tutors to give your children a head start with English for example.
How do you, as a parent, benefit from preparing packed lunches?
- You know exactly what your child is eating as you have prepared the lunch. You don’t have to stress about the quality or cleanliness of the food.
- Preparing lunches for your child or children can also help take away any guilt you feel if you are a working parent. Packing lunches daily is not easy and requires time and effort. This simple act can make you feel more fulfilled as a parent.
- You can monitor what and how much your child is eating. By doing this you can accomplish more suitable lunches for your child and provide balanced meals.
- If your child is allergic to something like nuts, you can make sure that your child is not consuming them. Packing their lunches with your own hands can give you a sense of ease knowing that they will not get an allergic reaction from what they are eating.
- You know that what you have prepared for your child, he or she will enjoy it as you know your child’s likes and dislikes the best.
- You know your child won’t get bored of what they are eating as you can experiment with different lunches and prepare something new daily. This could include switching up snacks, their juice box or their main meal.
- Money won’t be wasted. If your child buys lunch at school, there is a high chance they may not enjoy what they have chosen or they may waste their food. By preparing packed lunches, there is less waste of money and food.
How do kids benefit from packed lunches?
- If the packed lunches you prepare are fairly balanced and healthy, your child may hold onto the habit of eating in such a manner later on in their lives when they are more independent.
- Packed lunched tend to be healthier than school dinners so this will definitely benefit your child’s health.
- The child with a packed lunch will be more responsible as they are not handed everything on a plate (literally). A packed lunch will require the child to open their lunch box, take out their food and then eat it. Whatever is not eaten will either be put in the bin or be placed back in the box. The box will then have to be placed back in a safe place on their named peg in their cloakroom. This series of mini tasks require the child to use initiative.
- A child can assist you in making the packed lunch at home. The child will take away management skills, decision making skills and communication skills which all come in handy throughout life.
What can you put in a lunch box?
The one and only tip you need to prepare a packed lunch is to keep it balanced. Here are a few examples of what you can include.
- carrot sticks or celery sticks with a hummus
- a few ricecakes or a small packet of popcorn
- fresh fruit diced or cut into small bite sized pieces
- cheese strings or babybel
- milk drink like actimel
- caprisun or fruitshoot (less added sugar version)
- apple juice or orange juice (you could prepare this fresh at home)
The Main Meal
- pasta salads or chicken salads
- sandwiches (make sure to try out new varieties all the time)
- chicken wraps
Do not limit yourselves to these options. The possibilities of making a great packed lunch are endless!