Sick of preparing and packing school lunches? Well, why not get the kids involved and helping out? This will not only benefit you by freeing up some time for yourself and having one less chore to worry about, but it’s great for the kids too. Here’s why:
- They will be learning a valuable life lesson – how to prepare healthy, balanced meals.
- Children are more likely to become adventurous eaters if they know how to cook.
- They will become more self-sufficient and it will help build their independence
- They might be more likely to tuck in to their lunch if they’ve helped make their food, because they will feel proud of it
How do you get started?
Regardless of their age, getting them to take on this new task and responsibility probably won’t happen overnight, some kids might be enthusiastic about cooking, some might not. So it’s important to be patient and offer careful guidance
Make it fun
Some kids may already love helping out in the kitchen, but others might need some encouragement to show them how much fun it can be. Make it fun by giving them their own aprons and choosing their own lunch boxes.
Choose appropriate tasks
Depending on their age, you might still be taking responsibility for much of the workload. Younger kids might just help with prepping and packing, but the older ones can also do some of the actual cooking. Our day to day lunch box recipes are very simple to follow – many of the lunches simply need to be assembled. Some might have a bit of cooking involved, whether that’s boiling pasta or cooking chicken in the oven.
Set up a packing station
Set up a dedicated area that’s easy for them to pack their lunch.This could be a drawer with everything you need for school lunches – like tupperware, containers, reusable water bottles, cutlery, napkins, clingwrap, ziploc bags, and of course the day to day lunch recipe cards.
Establish a routine
Whether it’s getting all the lunch prep out the way one night a week, packing the night before each school day, or in the morning – you will have to figure out the routine that works best in your house. Your morning routine might already be chock a block, so it might be easier to get it all ready the night beforehand, and then all they have to do in the morning is grab out the fridge on their way out the door.
At the end of the day get them to help empty, clean the lunch boxes. Even if it’s just scraping them out and popping them in the dishwasher.