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Back to school, back to making lunches.  (Yes, we made lunches while our kids were off school, but there’s just something about packing the school lunch that’s just so tedious!)

Going back to last week’s topic, something that may surprise you if you’re new to school is that your child will often not eat their lunch!  It will come home in random pieces, sometimes partially eaten and/or smushed and sometimes just barely even touched.

Children usually have about 20 minutes to eat lunch at school.  They’ve been doing classroom activities all morning and this is their first chance to socialize and chat, so 20 minutes just often isn’t enough to eat everything in their carefully prepared bento box.

There are two different ways that schools structure their lunch: some eat first and then go out to eat, and some play outside first and then come in to eat.  The thinking on the second system, is that they’ve been engaged all morning and they want them to burn off their energy so that they can come back inside and concentrate on eating.

I’ve had children doing it both ways and it doesn’t really seem to matter.  One week my kids can’t get enough of oranges, the next week they no longer like them.  Only one certain flavour of their granola bar will do.  And my daughter learned that the office has a secret stash of snacks for kids who have forgotten their lunch – and the strawberry bars from the office certainly taste different than the ones that I pack.  HA!

If you’ve run out of ideas by day 3 of school like I have, here are some suggestions from Pulse FM listeners:

  • a mason jar filled with carrot sticks, cucumber and other veg – an awesome, no-waste solution!
  • anything from Costco!
  • store-bought non-perishable snacks so that if they come home, you can re-use them (unlike cut up vegetables or meats)
  • pasta, either cold or in a thermos
  • outsource and send them to the cafeteria!!!

Best of luck to all the mom-chefs out there!