Friday, December 11, 2009
School lunch is an interesting topic. I doubt too many people would agree that the nutritional value of school lunch is, at least at times, pretty questionable, but it is convenient and cheap. (Isn't that what the fast food giants say, too? Interesting.)

My son and I used to have daily debates about lunch that involved me checking the published menu and negotiating whether or not he would take lunch. By the time we brokered a deal, I'd spent more time on talking about lunch than I would have spent making it.

So, I started making it everyday only to find him coming home with the healthiest parts leftover in his lunch bag. Then, I would spend each day pointing out what he should be eating instead of what he was eating since they don't bother to teach nutrition in schools while it matters the most. (Hmmm, obesity problem? Why not educate them early and often? But that's another soap box.)

After two years of honing my methods, I realized that my lunch strategy was simple AND effective! Basically, my lunch tips come down to two issues outlined below with my suggested solutions. So here goes:

Problem 1: Child doesn't want to eat school lunch.
Solution A: Progressively make home made lunches less palatable.
Solution B: Hide the food so that every once in a while you can say "I don't have anything to give you. You'll have to eat at school today."

Problem 2: Child doesn't eat the most nutritional parts of the home made lunch. (Why do those pieces of fruit or the carrots always come home?)
Solution: Slightly underfeed the child so that he/she is hungry enough to eat everything. Works every time!

Be sure to offer a nutritional snack at pick-up or as soon as he/she gets home. See here for tips on providing healthy snacks.

Happy eating!


Carrie said...

holy crap! Hunter was totally leaving his healthy food in his lunch box and just eating his dessert and chips. I started not packing dessert and that seemed to work for a little bit.

I told Ryan that the boy wasn't smart enough yet to just throw away the healthy stuff to make it look like he was eating it.

Anna said...

The black and yellow hurts my eyes.

Get a free hit counter here.