Soggy cheese and lettuce sandwiches, with a little too much margarine than I care to remember.
Every. Single. School. Day. Blurgh!
As much as I love my mum, her forte was not school lunches.
But the battle to stay inspired - especially towards the end of term - is very real. I have a boy and a girl with different school lunch requirements.
For my boy, lunch is definitely a one-stop-shop affair: Hey, after all one bread roll is more than manageable while playing the ball sport of choice
My goal for him is to pack as much protein, vitamins and minerals into that one roll as possible.
My daughter is the complete opposite. She prefers bite-sized grazing, dipping and sipping, munching on salad, fruit and .... whatever I have left in the fridge veggie basket.
Here are some of the tips that have worked for me at various points after eight years of lunch making.
Harness the power of keen munchkins and let them help create their own lunches. Much satisfaction can be gained from preparing and packing their own food. Provide a range of healthy options for them to choose from.
Chatting about food is also such a lovely chance to also build their language skills.
We went through a phase of cookie-cutter sandwiches together - it sure makes bread way more fun!
The night before
If you're not a morning person and things get as chaotic in your house as it does mine, making lunches the evening before is the only option.
I dare say most, if not all, schools are nut-free and, if you're a parent with a child who has a nut allergy like me, you'll understand why. To those who think it's "not your problem" (yes, I have actually heard that said) please consider this before placing little ones at risk:
- it's no fun to sit and watch classmates eat birthday cake and miss out; and
- anaphyaxis is life-threatening, it's not a lifestyle choice. Google it.
And finally ....
There are sooooooo many options available on the inter-webs for healthy and easy ideas for your back to school lunch catering.
When it comes to nutrition, I prefer to choose evidence-based websites.