Friday, August 27, 2010

10 Simple Pre-School Lunch Ideas

Pre-school lunch is a challenge. As I wrote last year, a lot of love and angst goes into packing a lunch, and in the end the most important thing is that the kids learn how to have a meal together. That being said, here are 10 simple, effective, and fun ideas to make pre-school lunch more enjoyable for all:

  1. Something dip-able. Kids love to dunk things, so pack a little cream cheese or yogurt in a container with an easily removable top, add some baby carrots, and you have a party.

  2. Pack a surprise toy. Nothing elaborate like an American Doll or Buzz Lightyear, but a few tattoos or a yo yo.

  3. Send weather appropriate meals. If it is cold and rainy, a small thermos of chicken soup is a big hit (especially with crackers...see point 1). Warm and balmy weather calls for lighter and cooler fare.

  4. Mix up the drinks. Send water most days, but every once in a while throw in some chocolate milk for kicks - they love being surprised.

  5. Cut fruits into small, manageable pieces - they are too small to do it themselves, and the teachers don't have the time to help.

  6. Cheese sticks are always a big hit. Alternatively, slice cheese into fun shapes using cookies cutters and place in a ziplock bag.

  7. Don't over do or overlook dessert. If you put in too much, they go nuts and the teacher will be calling you in to discuss their behavior/your choices. If you do too little, they feel sad watching their friends guzzle down treats. Here are some ideas: a single homemade cookie or brownie, chocolate dipped strawberries, or 1/3 of a muffin (try the muffin top only - that always goes well).

  8. Wrap it up. Place a choice morsel in a box and wrap it up in paper with a ribbon. Kids love presents.

  9. Try to avoid peanuts, sesame products, and anything on the allergy alert list. Kids swap lunches and then some; it is a nice courtesy to the other parents and school.

  10. Place photos in the lunch box, so when they eat they can see you and your family or even their favorite toys and or pets, and be comforted. You can purchase single photo sleeves to protect the pics,
What are your best pre-school lunch solutions? Comment below and tell me about it.

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