There are 3 mains in any child’s up-bringing… Education, food and behavior. I think almost every parent fusses about food in one way or the other. Did the child eat? was it enough? was it healthy? etc etc etc??? Then off course there’s wanting to be “creative” so the child doesn’t get bored of the same food options over and over again. Staying in the theme of Back to School this week I’d like to share my equation for lunch box preparation.
My equation is fairly simple. Each lunchbox must contain a fruit, vegetable, snack item and a main. Off course you have to consider each child’s preferences and taste. Jennah loves and can overdose on Avocado and Cherry Tomato but Zeenah won’t touch it and will pick them out of her salad. On the other hand Zeenah will eat a full bowl of blueberries and cherries. As long as the children are eating healthy don’t fight their preferences and try not to force them to eat something they don’t like.
Here’s a list that I use for inspiration before packing the girls lunchboxes.
Apple Pear Apricot Strawberry Blueberry Melon Watermelon
Grapes Cherry Peach Tangerine Mango Avocado
I have several techniques for the lunch box Vegetables, those that are just raw veggie sticks, cooked or in a Salad. Some that I use as a snack item and others would be consider more of a main such as the pasta Salad.
Carrot Cucumber Celery Cherry Tomato Broccoli Bell Pepper Cauliflower
Corn on the Cob Green Peas Green Beans Pumpkin Potato Chickpeas
Beetroot Edamame Snow Peas
Tabouleh Cucumber & Yogurt Pasta Salad Couscous Salad Bean & Feta Salad Green Salad
Coleslaw Green Peas & Corn Salad Mozzarella & Tomato Salad Shrimp & Avocado Salad
Pretzel Cheerios Goldfish Raisins Cheddar Cubes Dates Dried Apricot
Breadsticks with Humus Crackers Yogurt Cottage Cheese
MAIN. This list is the most variable between the lunch boxes, not only because of the girls’ personal taste but also the eating conditions. In Zeenah’s preschool they have the capability of heating the food for the children so I actually put “Real food” and not lunchbox food in comparison to Jennah. She has to eat whatever is in her lunchbox at the temperature it’s in. I’ll put all the choices and you can decide what works for you at the conditions of your child’s school or pre-school.
Turkey & cheese Pinar & Zaatar Chicken Wrap Peanut Butter & Jam Kiri & Cucumber
Pesto & Boiled Egg
Rice & Chicken Pasta & Tomato Sauce Chicken Noodle Soup Meatballs(dry)
Chicken Balls Popcorn Chicken Spinach Balls Chicken Drumstick Stuffed Potato Balls (Kuba)
Off course there’s always variables that affect your choices. Consider the weather…. if it’s really hot outside don’t put yogurt or shrimp in the lunch boxes, you really don’t want your child to come back with a stomach ache.
I really advise against putting juice boxes in children’s lunch boxes. First of all many contain too much sugar and you really don’t want them driving their teacher up the wall. Secondly, the children will most likely have it the first thing making them full before actually having any food. My girls take a refillable water bottle with them to school.
Another advice I would like to give is please consider using reusable containers. Many lunch boxes now have matching containers to go with them. Omit the use of sandwich bags. Not only will you help save the environment but you’ll also be saving some cash in the process. A great place to shop online is amazon for everything in o ne place, but if you would like to find things locally (Kuwait) I’ve found several places that have fun options. Most area Co-ops have great selections. In addition to Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket and Sultan Center. Pottery Barn kids & Teen also have fun options. My all time favorite is Centerpoint, such good choices, variety and very reasonably priced. For the more environmentally involved check out @d2e_q8 on instagram and Oleana Boutique online
Here are some samples of water bottles and Lunch box containers and sets I found at centerpoint.