29 Aug Back to School Guide
The end of school holidays is fast approaching and it’s time to dig out those lunchboxes and prepare for another term of school lunches. Before you groan in anticipation, think of these positives: no more hungry or bored kids loitering around the fridge and kitchen; and a kitchen work top that stays food free for at least a few hours!
There’s just one word which will ensure you enjoy this year’s round of school lunches – planning and lots of it! The following tips and checklists will help you and your kids be organised and ready to take on the world this Autumn with minimum stress.
Back to School Guide Checklist: Things to do
Talk to your children and get feedback about which foods they liked last term and why? Remind them that as they grow up their tastes will change, so they may be ready to try some new foods out this term. Make a few healthy suggestions on what they may like to try this term.
Go shopping together for lunchboxes and new foods. Choose lunchboxes with compartments for easy, no wrapping packing.
Sit down together and plan a few lunches. Children are more likely to eat what they have planned themselves, but most of them still need some adult guidance to ensure lunch is not just treat foods!
Remind your children about washing hands before eating and after using the toilet. Chat about how bugs like some foods more than others, and which foods are the ones to eat first before bugs start growing.
Try out potential new foods at home. Sometimes, it’s not the food that’s a problem, but what friends think of the food. That’s okay – if friends have more conservative tastes, your children may not want to take hummus or feta to school. Test it at home before you put it in their lunchbox.
Checklist: Things to have on hand
- drink bottles
- greaseproof paper
- fun stickers to seal sandwich wrapping
- some bread or rolls in the freezer for those rushed morning!
Checklist: In the lunchbox
Check if you have something from each of these groups:
- Energy food such as bread, crackers, rice or pasta.
- Sustaining food such as cheese, yoghurt, and hummus.
- Fresh fruit or vegetables.
- A treat. Try nutritious treats such as apple, banana or muesli slice
- A drink.
Will they eat it? The healthiest lunch in the world does no good if they don’t eat it! Remember to try out potential new foods at home!
Tips for sandwiches
- Cut younger children’s sandwiches in triangles or with a cookie cutter. It makes them easier for little hands to hold and they’re fun to eat! These work best with not too much filling.
- Keep bread and rolls in the freezer and pull out just what you need on rush days.
- Drizzle bread with olive oil and bake at 160°C for about 15 minutes until crisp. Yummy with dips.