Education, Useful tools
How to teach children to make their own lunch
21 January, 2022
As a parent, most of your time is spent doing things for your children. Whether it’s their laundry, driving them around, or cleaning up after them, it can become exhausting. One job they can help you out with is packing lunches – and it’s as beneficial for them as it is for you.
School mornings are hectic enough without having to factor in the time it takes to pack a well-balanced, nutritious lunch. For convenience, parents end up filling the lunch boxes with pre-packaged and processed foods, which don’t offer as many nutritional benefits as whole foods typically do.
But who has the time to bake homemade muesli bars or chop up fresh fruit and veggies, right?
You can – if you get your children on board to help. The best part is, helping them eat better is just one of the many reasons you should start teaching your children to pack their own lunches.
By choosing which foods they will eat at school each day, your child will begin to flex their food management muscles. These will help them stick to a balanced diet as they grow up. They will begin to understand which foods will let them learn and play better at school, and also develop a healthier relationship with treats.
It also promotes independence and helps your child improve their self-esteem, so be sure to congratulate them when they pack a diverse, nutritious lunch. They will begin to develop their sense of responsibility, empowering them to learn other important skills like tidying their room and doing their own laundry.
The final reason you should encourage your children to pack their own lunches? It takes the load off you, giving you more time to focus on what’s important (and making you *slightly* less stressed about your parenting duties in the process!).
Have them help with the shopping
If you have to drag your children along for your grocery runs, you may as well get them involved! It is believed that having children help out with food shopping makes them more likely to eat their food, and anecdotally, we can confirm that it helps them get more excited about packing their lunch box, too.
Let them choose their lunch box
Much like having your children help out with the food shopping makes them more likely to eat it, letting them choose their very own lunch box can also encourage them to get involved with filling it up. Whether they opt for their favourite colour or TV show character, giving them the option to pick their own lunch box each year.
Prep the ingredients for them
There is no reason your children can’t prepare their lunch box meals themselves, but you probably don’t want your seven-year-old wielding a knife. All you need to do is chop up some options for their lunches, then create a little packing station each morning or the night before to make the process run smoothly.
Opt for a bento lunch box
Choosing how to fill up a large container with a balanced selection of healthy foods can be challenging even for grown-ups, let alone children. Bento lunch boxes – with their small compartments, often labelled for each food group – make it so much easier. Your child will love deciding what to put in the ‘Dairy’ or ‘Grains’ sections, much like a puzzle. Find out more about the benefits of bento boxes, here!