When you aren't around to encourage them to eat or when they are eager to get outside to play with friends, you may find your little one brings a lot of their packed lunch home but there are ways around that!
Over the years, 5 now since Minxy started school, I've tried various methods to ensure the Mini Mes come home having eaten properly and hopefully my tips will help ensure your little ones get the nutrients they need each day too. Children can be fussy eaters at the best of times so whether your little ones are returning to school this September or starting for the first time it's a good idea to make their food fun...
Try to pick a lunch bag that is both practical (easy to clean and stores everything inside) and interesting. Let your child choose their favourite character if possible so even when school may be slightly daunting they have a recognisable figure nearby! There is a large selection available at the Internet Gift Store, some of which come with a water bottle too, which includes Moshi Monsters, Skylanders, Hello Kitty and Jamster's favourite; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Leaving little messages for your loved one is a nice surprise and will let them know you are thinking of them when you aren't around. They may feel a bit home sick after a 6 week holiday so this is a lovely way to let them know what fun you can have together after their day, that you care about them or that you are proud of their achievements.
Rewarding good behaviour doesn't have to only happen at home, you can pop a well done sticker in with their lunch too as a way to praise them - another way to encourage them to eat! If you wanted to, you could even have a miniature chart on the inside of their lunch bag which they can fill in each day once a meal is complete then give a bigger reward at the weekend!
Get them involved
I've learnt from experience that children generally eat more if they have been involved with the preparation so let them give a helping hand if they want to. Preparing lunch the night before gives them time to butter bread or arrange items nicely inside their bag without a mad morning rush.
Providing the same food day in and out isn't particularly exciting so offer different meals each day. Even if it's a salad instead of a sandwich or a wrap instead of a roll, variation will make lunch time much more appealing. Try to offer different fillings and different flavours and test out a few new ideas over the summer to see what they do and don't like in advance. Making the appearance more attractive will help too - use cutters and food picks to make a meal they can't wait to see, and hopefully eat.