6 Reasons To Get Your Kids Making Their School Lunches & Tips To Make It Work

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Do you dread making lunches every school morning?  I often see amazing pics on Facebook from lovely like-minded additive-free conscious mums with their latest lunchbox creations for their kids. It’s so awesome and inspiring to see – especially the ones that suggest alternatives for what kids would normally have in their lunch boxes. Now I am all for giving kids amazing foods, free of additives and beautifully packaged to entice them to eat every morsel… But I’m far more keen to create food intelligent little beings that create their own masterpieces in the kitchen and transfer that knowledge to their lunchboxes independently! Especially since my kids are now at an age where they are well and truly more than capable of making their own lunches. This blog is all about how to get your kids to become clever little lunchbox fillers so you can go from lunchbox creator to inspirer and admirer! ☺

Now first up, let it be known I am not all about child slave labour. Little ones need help and Mums and Dads everywhere will attest to the fact that sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself. But here are a few interesting tit bits that might sway you to start offloading that lunchbox filling duty to your kids at an early age…

6 Reasons To Get Your Kids Making Their School Lunches & Tips To Make It Work

1. Kids who make their own food are more likely to eat it…

Jamie Oliver and Stephanie Alexander are big supporters of this truth. And it is true. If your kids are involved in making their own food, they are more likely to want to eat it or at least attempt to eat it.  How often do you spend ages creating something delicious for them only to see it come home again? Get your kids involved and you’ll find less lunches coming home after school.

2. Kids tastes change… (sometimes on a daily basis!)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost count of the number of times my kids tastes changed.  Their all time favourite food packed lovingly by me into their lunchbox one day suddenly comes home uneaten because they claim they no longer like it. If you start getting your kids to be the ones to pick the foods for their lunches, they will roll with this and adjust what they pack as their tastes change. That said, you will still need to guide them a little to avoid the ‘I don’t know what to eat’ days, but more on that later.

It is important to accept that kids will always change their taste and texture preferences – it’s human nature to do so and even supported by a bit of science too!  The key is to adjust and roll with each moment as a parent instead of tearing your hair out at the constant changes your kids will throw at you… Adopt a new motto: Change is good! Trust me, it will help you cope!

3. Independent kids are happy kids

Kids love to feel grown up and independent. Especially as they get older and believe they should be adults already, despite only recently entering double digits! A sense of responsibility and independence allows them to feel they are important and that their opinion counts… even the ‘little things’ such as an opinion about what food they like or what texture they prefer creates a happy sense of independence for kids. Plus, what parent doesn’t want an independent child who will one day leave home well-equipped to deal with the world?

4. It’s less work for you!

Yes, you are allowed to feel you deserve a little break and I can speak from experience when I say that it is rather glorious to not have to do the mad rush in the morning making lunches. We actually have mornings where we can sit and chat and enjoy ourselves rather than argue or stress over what is going into the magical lunchbox today… It can happen! Sure we still have our mornings of chaos – we are still human! – but the pressure is off, the workload in the mornings is less, which generally makes for a less stressed, happier Mum = happier kids.

5. Kids are creative

Ever feel like you’re offering or eating the same old, same old? I am amazed at how my kids can come up with some flavour combinations and texture sensations! The best bit about this is, they are instigating it, they are experimenting with food and learning to love the variety of tastes and textures – a sure fire way to bring up happy healthy kids with great food IQs! Of course again, this needs some coaching to ensure all creations are still healthy (made easier by only stocking the good stuff in your kitchen ☺).

6. It’s never too early to start

A lot of parents will tell me they think their kids are too young to start making their own lunches.  Whilst a different approach is needed to help with decision making and time management, even the littlies can get involved. In fact, the earlier you start, the earlier they will learn – which means kids with higher food IQs and healthier little beings ☺


You may be thinking if you hand over the lunch making duties to your kids, you know your child is bound to say…
“I don’t know what I feel like eating for lunch” or
“I’m tired of the same old things for lunch”
Ok! I know this can happen (in fact it just did this morning ☺). But there is a solution!  Here are three ways to deals with lunchbox decision issues…

1. Make a list

Have I mentioned I love a good list? Making a list of possible lunch options in categories such as savoury, sweet, healthy, treats, etc, can be one quick and easy solution to this problem. The key is to make the list with your kids, asking for their input at a time that isn’t interfering with the morning chaos or routine ☺ Then whack it on the fridge and point to it whenever you get the “I don’t know what to pack” comment.

Of course, you may then get the “I’m tired of everything on that list” comment, which is again easily fixed by making sure you update the list every few weeks, or make a few different lists and rotate them. Perhaps by season or after doing a cook up one weekend.

2. Lay some ground rules

If you do choose the list idea to help your kids make good food choices, lay down some rules about how much of each category they can take each day. For example, 2 savoury, 1 sweet and 1 treat.

3. Be prepared and plan ahead!

The final note of importance here is to make sure you are organized and prepared… Try not to spring this new change on your kids on a Monday morning with no prior notice! Discuss the notion of your kids packing their lunchbox with them before starting the new routine. Rather than unveiling a new chore to the chorus of groans, be sure to make this discussion a positive one! Perhaps talk about what the love to eat for lunch first and plan a cook up with them on the weekend to fill the fridge and freezer with their yummy choices. Then it’s a quick easy step to suggest they be the ones that choose on Monday what to eat for lunch.

So have I convinced you to hang up your lunch making apron and pass it over to your kids? Still need more info? I’ve just touched on the basics here so to help you out.  The good news is, I have a free mini eBook The Silver Bullet Lunch Box which goes into more detail about how you can get your kids involved in making healthy lunch choices and packing it themselves! Yes! It’s free! ☺ All you have to do is sign up to my occasional/seasonal newsletter and this little eBook is all yours to download and pop on your phone or ipad.

It’s time to become the inspiring, admiring parent and start teaching your kids to create their own lunches with healthy choices they will want to eat!

Have you already managed this small feat? If so, please share your experiences on The Food Werewolf Facebook page or even pop a pic of your kids lunch creations on Instagram here with the tags #thefoodwerewolf #lunchboxcreators. I’d love to celebrate their independence with you!

Loren x