School is a heady combination of friends, frenzied playtime, and learning. Unsurprisingly children don’t just learn maths and English in school, they learn the habits that will often last a lifetime. Healthy eating habits are just one of the many children will learn during their school careers that will set them up as successful adults. The patterns set by the food they buy in tuckshops or find in their lunchboxes will stay for them for the rest of their lives.
Nowadays many tuckshops and canteens offer healthy solutions, in addition to the fried food, chips and high sugar drinks, but giving your child the choice of what to spend their tuckshop money on, can you rely on them to choose the more appropriate healthy option?
So while packing your child’s lunchbox is time consuming, and, as a parent, you will spend hours thinking about what to include and hope that they both consume and enjoy the delectable delights you’ve included. By preparing your child’s lunchbox you will most importantly prepare children, in the best way you know how, to take on any challenge.
So here are five reasons to pack your child’s lunchbox:
- Energy – School, in many ways, is like the first day of a new job, every day, for your child. Sure, there’s the stability of being in a classroom with the same kids, but the content is always different and the challenges vary daily. Then there’s sport, music and after school activities. A lunchbox packed by you filled with protein and sustained carbohydrates will help.
- Calorie control – Packing their school lunches means you can control their calorie intake from when they wake until when they go to bed. Plus, you can continue to mimic what they eat at home in the lunchbox. Of course, if you choose potato chips and chocolate, with a side can of fizzy, then some of the benefits of that control are lost, but if you’re packing a nutritious lunch, built around fruit, vegetables, seeds, peas and beans, then you know your child is eating properly throughout the day.
- Preferences – You can tailor your child’s lunches based on their likes and dislikes, and also what you think they should avoid. If your child should avoid dairy, wheat or nuts, then through packing their lunches, you can ensure they don’t consume foods that don’t agree with them. It’s much easier to pack the foods you want them to eat, rather than asking them to avoid the foods that may irritate them.
- Variety – You can change the main elements of their lunches at the frequency that you think your child requires – which is something a school canteen may not. When packing your child’ lunchbox you have the ability to change meals up as you please – and tailor each day to your child’s favourites and introduce new foods as well.
- Reduces waste at home – you can use leftovers in their lunchboxes. Putting lean protein into sandwiches or salads means less wasted dinners from the night before. Any snacks that haven’t been eaten around the home can be added to the lunchbox and use up any food in the house before the next grocery shop.
Packing school lunches, while time consuming , does have far more pros than cons particularly if you can find healthy and nutritious lunchbox solutions to help your kids achieve all they need each and every day.