4 1/2 years old

Back to School - Fun with School Lunches


The countdown is on, Ethan is starting school in just over a month and Ivy will be starting to settle into nursery too.  One of my biggest concerns is that they won't eat properly at lunch time and will go through the rest of the day hungry!  So we're preparing them now by talking about school lunch times and talking a lot about healthy eating.

School Dinners

The kids will both have school lunches to begin with (but we are flexible if this doesn't work for them).  So we have been doing some pretend play to go through the whole process of school dinners starting with seeing the food all set up before them and choosing their own plate and cup for their meal.

We talked about the sections of the plates and how different healthy foods go into each section.  I pretended to be the dinner lady to begin with and had the children line up and choose what they would like on their plates.  They had to have one protein / meat source, one vegetable and one fruit each, as well as a glass of water.  They did well at choosing nice balanced lunches for themselves.

The next challenge was to then carry their trays back to their table without dropping anything.  This is a really important skill for them to work on and something that is often overlooked.  I don't let them carry their plates of food around usually, I put them on the table for them and that's where they stay.  So it's great for them to use pretend food to work on their balance and coordination without worrying about losing their real dinner!

To say that the kids loved this game would be an understatement!  After one round the kids both wanted turns at being the dinner lady, so we played through another few times which then turned into playing a whole day of school with Ethan being our teacher and leading us through different activities.  It's such a great way to prepare the kids for school and give them the opportunity to fill different roles and take charge in a fun way.

Packed Lunches

The key to successful packed lunches is definitely  all in the lunchboxes, right?  So with this fantastic Yumbox from EatWell UK being carried in the Bibetta lunch bag with the matching water bottle holder Ethan will already be excited to find out what's going to be inside his lunch every day!

I was intimidated by the whole bento lunch idea at first, as you see some incredible things on Pinterest and I just don't think that my food creativity is up to that level!  But it's actually really easy with the Yumbox because of the marked sections inside, it gives you a good idea of portion sizes and reminds you on tired mornings (or nights before if you're organised) of what needs to go in there.

I'm a big fan of a few fresh fruit and vegetables, some protein and dairy and some healthy snacks that the kids like.  I think there's no point of filling their lunch boxes with things that they aren't going to eat!  So I had a go at making a healthy Yumbox lunch and it really was super easy.  And it really is leak proof, I tested by putting yogurt in the dairy section and hummus in the middle and both stayed in their sections!

We love Kiddylicious snacks, the kids have always gobbled up their little bags of yummy treats on days out and are absolutely loving the new range of super snacks.  These are great to open up and pop into the Yumbox for a healthy treat.  The range includes Lentil Crisps and Quinoa Crisps, the kids also love the Veggie Crisps (and they're my favourite too, I could eat these in my own lunch!)

We have also been big fans of Organix snacks since the kids were small babies and to continue to enjoy their healthy treats now.  They've got these new Mini Cheese and Chive Breadsticks that are perfect for lunchboxes.

Ethan will definitely be excited to carry his lunch around in the Bibetta lunch bag, and we even chose a green one to match his school uniform.  It holds the Yumbox perfectly and would fit a few extra things as well.  It's made of strong neoprene material and is washable, as well as being a great insulator which is great for the lunch bag and the bottle bag which will keep drinks nice and cool.

I also gave Ethan the challenger of choosing his own balanced lunch one day.  I filled the table with a big variety of different vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy and let him choose what he would like to fill his Yumbox, pointing out the different sections and what should go in each one.

He did really well at choosing all of the different things that he liked and surprised me by even putting a few different vegetable in there that he wouldn't normally eat.  It really does show how it's so important to give kids the freedom to make their own lunches every once in a while to see what they would choose and what they might like to try.  

We are definitely feeling more prepared for school lunches now and the kids have even started eating some new foods already.  It's good to know that my kids won't go hungry and that they may even make some healthy choices.

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* This is a collaborative post, we were provided with a Yumbox from Eatwell, a lunchbag and bottle bag from Bibetta and snacks from Kiddylicious and Organix in order to try them out and write our honest opinions about.*

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