This is my second year packing lunch boxes. My son went off to preschool last year and we started our journey into the world of packed food. This year my daughter is also in preschool so I’m packing two lunch boxes each school day and sending them off in little backpacks.
It was all well and good, I almost felt like I had finally “arrived” as a parent, I could send sustenance with my children and they could take car of it themselves. Every one is growing up and I kind of love that.
About two weeks into school the novelty of the lunchbox wore off. The kids stopped eating. Every day at school the teacher would say the same thing, that my kids who normally eat a lot… are suddenly becoming picky and not wanting to eat what I’ve packed them.
The year before I packed the same thing for lunch every single day. And my son ate it every single day. Lunch was just one of many things he adored about school so it wasn’t an issue.
Now, he apparently felt the need for a little variety (not that I can blame him), but we all know when you’re dealing with preschoolers variety is not always good. Something they loved a month ago they might not love today and every one knows if you buy something your kid LOVES in bulk they will suddenly swear off it for a year.
so I’m left scrambling for ideas to get the kiddos to actually, you know, eat at school. When we’re home and they decide they don’t like something I don’t worry about it. This isn’t mama’s buffet and I figure if they are hungry enough they will eventually eat. However, at school they have a set and limited time in which they can eat their lunch. I need them to be willing and excited about eating at that specific time, so they have energy to make it through the rest of their day.
To combat this I’ve implemented a few things that seem to be working so far!
Asking in the mornings – I don’t go crazy with options, but I do allow the kids to choose their “entree” for the day. They can choose between various sandwich options or leftovers from dinner the night before. If nothing else I can then tell the teacher that I packed what the kid asked me to, and I’m not just sending things they hate.
Sending variety – instead of changing up what I send each day I’ve started overpacking a bit. I’ll send a sandwich, an apple a few carrot sticks (both my kids LOVE carrots), trail mix, crackers, cheese, Chobani Kids yogurt pouches and more. This way, even if they suddenly decide that apples are offensive, they have a few other options right there in their lunchbox.
Something special – I started buying those Chobani Kids pouches and Tubes for lunchboxes. My kids would love to eat these all day every day, but I try to save them for school. That way they are extra special because they usually only get them at school. The tubes can even be frozen so they are nice and cold by lunchtime! I love that these contain 25% less sugar than the leading yogurt tubes and 5g of protein instead of just 2g in the other brands. This helps my kids get the energy they need during the school day! The pouches are all stellar for kids, created for babies from 6 months all the way through big kids! They are made with Greek yogurt (the other flavors balance that out…my kids couldn’t tell, so they get all the benefits of Greek yogurt without giving me that “what the heck did you do to my yogurt, mom” face), and they provide 12mg of omega-3 DHA which is so important for kids!
Lunches and snacks are getting a much better report these days, and I at least know my kids will always eat their yogurt. Their teachers also appreciate how CLEAN they are. Just suck out of the pouch or tube, so there’s no clean up that the teacher has to deal with like with a tub of yogurt and a spoon. I know from my days working in daycare that those always end with yogurt in hair and all over everything. Chobani really “gets” moms and dads and found us a work around! Another way that they “get” us? They know we need to save money, check out the Chobani Kids Savings to find all the latest coupons to help get your kids lunches and snacks ready for this week!
The tubes come in great flavors like Greek yogurt strawberry, mixed berry and watermelon. The pouches come in grape, strawberry and vanilla+chocolate dust. They also feature my kids favorite characters like winnie the pooh, doc mcstuffins and spiderman as part of Disney’s magic of healthy living initiative. LOVE.