B is for Back to School

Most school aged children in Australia will be starting or going back to school in a little over a week.  One of the challenges of this process facing parents will be what to pack for lunch and break time.  Making this task even harder is the hot summer weather.  And while I don’t have to pack lunchboxes for Bear and Bee yet, I still like looking for ideas for hubby’s lunches – much cheaper and healthier than having him buy lunch every day.

Nicole over at Planning with Kids has a great calendar available for 2013 to provide you with inspiration for your child’s lunchbox.  Check it out – the recipes are great and there is also a list of seasonal Australian fruits that work well in a lunchbox. There are also some wonderful ideas in many of the food magazines available at your local newsagent.  

So now is the time to get in and do a bit of planning before you get caught up in the rush of packing school bags and trying on uniforms.  Perhaps do some practice runs with the lunchbox if your child is starting school for the first time.  Pack their lunchbox early in the morning, or better still the night before, and have them eat from it during the day to get use to the idea.  You’ll get any idea of what they can cope with and whether they have any trouble with opening the containers etc.

I would also suggest sitting down with your child and their lunchbox and brainstorming some ideas of what could go in it.  To help with this idea, I have created a lunchbox worksheet that you can download for free. Each section of the lunchbox has a specific food heading and the lunchbox as a whole covers all the food groups (fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy, breads and cereals, meat and protein). 
Super Powered Lunchbox Worksheet

Younger children can paste in pictures of appropriate foods from magazines while older children can draw and/or label their food suggestions.  If you have time, you could help your child prepare a few versions of this worksheet to have for new ideas for their lunchboxes during the school term.

There are lots of ideas on the internet for what to include in kids’ lunchboxes.  If you need some inspiration, here are a few of my favourite sites.

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