Are you burning out from packing lunches, or do you just want to pack a little variety into your child's lunch? Here are some easy ideas, tried and true from the Lynx Team.
Toddler eating habits. A common anxiety among parents & staff alike. It is School House policy that we do not re-heat any of our children’s lunches. The main reasons for this being that we do not have the means to safely reheat each child’s lunch in a timely manner. Staff would also be required to utilize our kitchen to do so, which would take them out of the classroom at the busiest time of our daily routine. Thus, thermos lunches! Packing a thermos lunch takes a bit of finesse. A quality thermos will come with instructions to pre-heat with hot water, then after preheating you add your piping hot food. The most common mistake when packing a thermos lunch is to add the food when it is at a comfortable eating temp. Food needs to be piping hot, inedible hot, before sealing in a preheated thermos. If the thermos is packed properly there is little to no risk of your child’s food cooling to a ‘danger zone’ temperature after 4-5 hours. In fact, our staff often have to cool thermos lunches for our little ones to eat when it is lunchtime!
Deli Meat Roll-Ups
Think outside the bun! Rolling sliced deli turkey, ham, or roast beef around cheese sticks, cream cheese, and even greens can change the way your kiddos think about lunch meat. Pack with: Veggie crisps, celery (optional sunflower butter filling), cinnamon-sprinkled apple slices. Mix the meats, cheeses and veggies your kids like into plain quinoa and dress lightly with basic vinaigrette. Pack with: mini muffin & choice of seasonal fresh fruit & cubed avocado.
Hummus and Pita Plate
9 out of 10 kids love a good smear of hummus. Why not make it the star of the show? Pack with: sliced cherry tomatoes, snap peas & sliced pepper/carrot sticks.
Mix the meats, cheeses and veggies your kids like into plain quinoa and dress lightly with basic vinaigrette. Pack with: mini muffin & choice of seasonal fresh fruit & cubed avocado.
Simple Cheese, Crackers & Sliced Sausage
Sometimes going simple is the best thing you can do for picky eaters. Finger foods such as this are easy for self feeding practice. Pack with: seasonal fresh fruit, yogurt, or sliced cucumber.
Cold Pasta & Bean Salad
The trick with this one is to pack each thing separately. Do not commit the cardinal sin of combining items! The horror! Canned/rinsed beans & chick peas, cold cooked pasta noodles, chopped peppers/broccoli, cubed tomato & shredded Parmesan cheese. Children can choose to mix them or enjoy these finger foods separately. If you know your child won’t mind combining, add a dash of lemon juice/olive oil dressing to the mix. Pack with: fresh seasonal fruit, unsweetened applesauce &/or boiled egg.
A good rule of thumb when trying to pack a healthy lunch for a child of any age is to make sure their food has at least three colors represented. A beige meal neither looks appetizing, nor it is usually all that nutritious. Also make sure you offer at least a couple choices; however over packing a lunch with too many choices often is overwhelming for our littlest of people.
This & That
This page is for little extras that we'd like to share.
Recipes, guidance strategies, or simply links to important content related to fostering a rich learning environment for your child.
British Columbia has recently updated The Early Learning Framework. Read it here.