In the 5 tips post, one of the first tips I share is to get your kids involved.
Let me tell you something. I set out to do this post today, violating my own rules.
My plan was to create 4 lunches, each with its own main dish and unique side dishes. The girls were playing Barbies in the living room, Joe was working on some watermelon ice cream (coming soon!), and I was prepping a lunch.
After I created the picture-perfect, orange-themed lunch (with some green Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish Crackers® for variety), I called them upstairs.
“Would you like to share the lunch I made?” I asked them.
“You know what I'd like to do?” asked Grace.
“What?” I asked.
“I'd like to make my own lunch!” she said.
Talk about your own words coming back to haunt you.
I agreed, setting aside my plans for color-themed lunches (I had red, green, and yellow to match the rainbow-colored Goldfish Crackers.) in favor of letting the girls create their own lunches.
I enjoyed watching their brains work and seeing what food choices they made given the rules I set.
Anyone who knows them would know instantly whose was whose.
Allie's lunch is full of fruit and goodies. I tried to impart to her the values of food groups and a balanced lunch, but she wasn't getting it.
In her lunch, there are blueberries and strawberries, Goldfish Crackers, half of a chocolate chip muffin, an Elsa cheese stick, and a Wet Ones® Single. Because my kids and I have been sick for the last five weeks, and I am so over fevers and coughs and sniffly noses. Clean, germ-free hands are a necessity.
Wet Ones Singles are a necessity in every kid's school lunch every day, cleaning hands and killing 99.9% of germs so they can enjoy the bounty you've prepared for them.
I went ahead with her choices because it is mostly a healthy meal, and I know it would keep her belly full for an afternoon of playing at the co-op or picnicking. It was, in fact, about three timesÃ‚ as much food as she could eat in one sitting.
So if I was really packing her lunch, I would pack 2 strawberries, 3-4 blueberries, the cheese stick, and 10-12 Goldfish Crackers. That would be plenty for her.
Grace's lunch is better balanced with a fruit cup, pink princess Goldfish Crackers, an Anna cheese stick, baked beans, fruity snacks, and a Wet Ones Single.
She was tormented by the main dish.
“This lunch is going to be famous, isn't it? I need to put something really great in it,” she said.
“Put it in what you'd like to eat,” I said.
“I know, but it's going to be famous. It has to be something that other kids would like.”
I'm not sure whether all kids would enjoy baked beans in their lunch, but I'm sure some would. You can put them in a pre-heated thermos that will keep them warm until lunch time.
(If you've never done that before, carefully pour boiling water into the thermos, put the lid on and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Put hot food into the thermos, cap it tightly, and it will still be nice and warm at lunch time. Likewise, if you have a very cold food, you can put the thermos in the freezer with the lid off for 10 minutes, and the food will still be reasonably cold at lunch time.)
Grace was thrilled with her lunch. I like this goofy, slightly out of focus picture of her being silly with it.
As with Allie, this is way more food than Grace can eat at once. On a normal day, she'd eat the fruit cup, about half of the Goldfish Crackers, two spoonfuls of baked beans, and the fruity snacks. The cheese stick would be a good mid-morning snack.
We can make all the fancy lunches we want, but it is ultimately our kids who determine whether they eat or throw away the contents. It doesn't matter whether you're making school lunches or picnic lunches, they aren't going to eat what doesn't appeal to them.
I was surprised by my kids' lunches, but happy knowing that they prepared something that they really wanted to eat. I'll remember their choices for our first co-op meeting next week.
Learn more about Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers at the Wish I Had Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers in my Lunchbox website.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® + Pepperidge Farm® . The opinions and text are all mine.
© 2015 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.