Lunchtime stress, be gone.
Nothing thrills me more than unpacking my children’s school bags and feeling the lightness of an empty lunchbox. It’s exhilarating.
On the flipside, any parent knows that when their kids reject their lunchbox efforts, it’s not only frustrating, but heartbreaking. Yes, heartbreaking. But I’m here to help with that.
Mamamia recently asked our readers to submit their parenting problems for us to “hack”. Based on the feedback we received, it seems school lunches are causing a lot of you headaches.
So here are seven solutions to school lunch box dramas, to make the morning rush a little more bearable.
1. Fruit Ninja.
My kids are at the age where they have wobbly teeth and find it hard to eat apples – but when I cut them up, they go brown in their lunch box. So now when I cut them, I put them back together and secure them with a couple of rubber bands. The kids love them. Why does cut fruit taste better than whole fruit? It’s a mystery…
2. Bento Boxes.
My daughter will normally eat her lunch as long as it is in a Hello Kitty container. For other picky eaters, invest in a couple of Bento Boxes – those lunch boxes with lots of different sections. You can put ham in one, fruit in another, cheese in a different section and some crackers in another section. If you’re lucky, they’ll eat out of at least two, and that’s a win as far as I am concerned.
3. Culinary Cryogenics.
All this means is USE YOUR FREEZER. Fill up water bottles the night before and freeze them. They thaw out during the day, allowing kids to enjoy nice, cold water instead of yucky room-temperature water which is obviously unacceptable to their sophisticated palettes.
4. Deputise them.
Don’t try and think of interesting school snacks and lunches all by yourself. Sit your kids down and ask them what they want. Then make them come shopping with you. If they’ve chosen the foods themselves, they are more interested in eating them. They like a bit of control over what goes on, especially as they get older, and by talking to them about their preferences you’ll have a heads up for when they decide to reject something on a whim.