Letting Kids Take Ownership of Their Lunches

I recall opening up my Holly Hobby lunchbox in the school cafeteria and thinking, “Oh man, I really wantedbologna and cheese today instead of this!” So I told me mom that I’d really like to start making my own lunch – if that was okay with her! “What a GREAT idea!” she said without the slightest hesitation. Little did I know that I was letting us both off of the hook!

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When my kids started school, I quickly learned why my mom jumped on that suggestion: How do I know what each one of them is in the mood for AND one less thing to do on hectic school/work mornings sounds fabulous to me.

The only way I have found this to work smoothly points back to my meal planning mantra – Take 15-20 minutes to plan the weeks’ meals (including lunch and snacks), create a shopping list, hit the grocery store and you’re set. I get supplies to make 5 main lunches – turkey and low-fat cheese, PB&J on whole wheat, etc. plus fruit/veggies and the healthiest snacks I can find.

Since I decide which meal I’m going to make for dinner (often based on what I feel like making/eating!), they get the chance to decide what they feel like having for lunch AND they learn to be self-sufficient. Win-win, I say!

By Karen McNamara

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