This year approximately 420 school lunches will be prepared in my home. Thousands have already been made. Sometimes the girls have expressed *disappointment* with my lunch box fare but most of the time they are happy. Because I generally like to collaborate. I cringe at the thought of either of my girls throwing away food at school and then not telling me about it. They see kids throw food into the bin at their school every lunch time. What a waste.
My girls also see half of the chocolate, sweet, chip and biscuit aisles in other kid’s lunch boxes. They definitely don’t want to be the only kids with a 100% healthy lunch box. I agree. School lunches do not need to be a battle ground between parent and child nor however does the lunch need to be the equivalent of a local sweet shop.
Before school went back I handed them this list and asked them to fill it out and add as many things to each list as they liked. You can tell it is still the school holidays in this picture as Ebony’s hair is, um, free flowing.
The list visually reminded them of how their lunch box is divided into categories of food. It gave them them an opportunity to feel heard (about real life decisions) and they felt their thoughts and ideas were worth hearing.
Most importantly I have followed through with this idea and everything in the girl’s lunch boxes IS from the list. I haven’t lessened their ideas by promoting my own. Of course if they included crazy things we would have had to edit the list somewhat… but kids will surprise you. Alot of time and thought went into their list which makes my life a whole lot easier. I am not expecting any negative feedback on their lunches!
By asking them to write their ideas down, it also gave the activity a sense of gravitas. I wanted them to feel that “Yes an adult, a grown-up is taking us seriously. We must be competent and clearly we are needed.” I am on a mission to let my girls do everything they possibly can do for themselves.
An unintended benefit is the help with menu planning. It makes my shopping list so much more planned and ‘targeted’ when I know exactly what they want. One week the treat food is chop chip pikelets, another week it’s Anzac biccies etc etc.
This week the lunch time food (as opposed to the recess break food) was ham and salad wraps. They LOVE wraps. Ebony grates the cheese and carrot the night before so that it will be easier and quicker to put together in the morning.
So the list is paying off. They are loving their lunch box food because the contents have essentially come from them. And they know that every day there is a treat
Thanks so much for dropping by! I am happy to type up the list and make it a free printable. I can make it look prettier, I swear. Just ask me