August 29, 2012
Oh, the double-edged sword of the first day back to school. It’s always a mix of excitement and sadness—freshly scrubbed children weighed down with oversized backpacks heading to their new class, warms my heart and breaks it a little, too.
There’s the whole sentimental side of time marching on and all that, but I think part of my melancholy is facing the daily drudgery of packing lunches. Why is it such a tedious process? Here’s my approach to the morning lunch box battle.
First, I try to pack a variety of choices, all of which are good for them. This is a tip from my sister Patricia, a Pediatrician specializing in nutrition related problems for children. Then, it’s up to the kids to choose what they want to eat at lunchtime, and the rest is great for after school snacks on the way to violin or gymnastics.
For the most part, my formula is one vegetable, a piece of fruit, a “main” with protein, one healthy (ish) treat, and a good amount of ice water.
Stay with the seasons. In season fruits and vegetables always taste the best. Can you imagine fall without crunchy apples and pumpkin seeds?
A fancy new lunch box or nifty containers always brings a boost of enthusiasm to both the kids and me.
I’ve been using these lunch boxes for years. I love them because with all the compartments it makes easy to offer choices. These guys are also insulated and come complete with a little dry erase board. The girls and I can write notes back and forth to each other…my mom always left me little notes on my napkin that made even tough days at school so much better.
These are a new addition to my stash and I have big plans for these little containers. You store the bottom part in the freezer, which keeps that end icy cold. Even though it’s meant for cereal and milk, my plan is to see how a smoothie on the bottom and pretzels on the top go for snack. My oldest loves Greek yogurt and granola so I’m going to try that combo too.
These BPA-free boxes are a great size and have three different cleverly designed compartments, so everything stays in its own place—which is a huge bonus for those with kids who insist on nothing touching. With the large side, they work well for lunch on the go and for me too, with place for a salad or half a Panini.