Lunch 4 “the ages” {K-5}

by on February 28th, 2013
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Lunch 4 “the ages” {K-5}

Welcome! This is the 2nd post of a 3 post series featuring tips about packing lunches for children. Last week I focused on packing lunch for preschoolers (Pre-K). This week I focus on lunches for children in  Kindergarten through 5th grade and next week I’ll cover grade 6 and beyond. If you are a blogger and have a URL featuring tips or photos of lunches for this age group please feel free to link up at the bottom of this post (while it is available).

Only one of my 4 children fit into this age bracket. My son Brendan. Brendan is in 5th grade so he just barely fits in this category. He has just reached the age where he is becoming embarrassed by cutesy gestures. I have had so much fun packing some creative lunches for Brendan and luckily the fun doesn’t have to end, it just has to be more reserved. Let’s however leave this topic for next week! And instead focus on where we have been!

 

Here are my lunch tips and thoughts about packing lunches for Kindergarten through 5th grade:

  1. Get those kids involved – Kiddos in this age bracket have some definite opinions on what they like and what they don’t like. They are also definitely willing to share those opinions with you. Seek this input from your children. Have your child participate in packing lunch if they are willing and let them make some selections for their own lunches. Consider letting them choose a recipe from a cookbook or online to make. Talk with them about healthy eating and about packing lunches with less waste. Need menu inspiration? Check out Momables, an inexpensive subscription lunch menu service. Also go check out these kids in action packing their own lunch: Bento Kids!
  2. Go crazy – You don’t have to but you can if you want to! Lunchbox accessories are no longer off limits. You can use food picks, cupcake rings and whatever other creative lunchbox décor you can dream up. Choking is no longer as high of a risk as it is for the little ones! Food no longer needs to be cut into bite sized pieces as it does for toddlers. Explore these freedoms! Draw inspiration from what your children love. It doesn’t have to be a bento master piece. One small detail is all it takes!
  3. Pack it cold – In this age bracket children rarely have access to means to heat up lunch. They also usually don’t have access to a fridge to keep their lunch cold. Pack lunches meant to be eaten cold. Pack lunches to stay cold or pack lunches that need little to no refrigeration! Most standard lunchboxes do not keep food at food safe temperatures for longer than 2 hours. Use 2 ice packs instead of 1 to prevent spoiling. Also consider freezing drinks or yogurts so they will stay fresh, these will defrost by lunch time. If your child prefers a hot lunch consider investing in a good thermal container.
  4. Keep it together – There is a wide range of maturity in this age bracket but many kids will not remember or will not be able to hold their lunchbox flat. Sauces, dips or dressings should be placed in leak proof lidded containers. Food should be packed tightly to stay in place. Consider using compartmentalized containers like Lunchbots or Easylunchboxes. Use silicon baking cups or bento baran to act as food dividers.

Still have more questions? Like to know more about lunches featured in this post? Feel free to contact me via email (email on left sidebar) or by commenting on this post and I will attempt to help you work through them! Remember to check out the blogs linking up below for more lunches packed for elementary school aged children! Refer back to last week’s post for Preschoolers for additional lunch packing tips.

Sincerely,

Lunchbots products used in this post available here:

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  • Kat_momof3

    great tips… love your blog.

    only one I’d add is that kids like to do more than just eat at lunchtime… so for kids who are super social and/or eat slow, pack meals that are big on the healthy calories and low on the amount they have to eat. Getting it in small pieces for easy eating is also important (especially when they are younger).

    Last week we had a “new food week” where she tried one new thing every day… or at least foods that she doesn’t remember that she has eaten in the past.

    I’d also add that my daughter is very willing to try new foods at home, but she likes boring and predictable lunch ingredients. Don’t worry if your kid asks for that same pb&j or whatever sandwich every day (in our house, it’d be peanut butter crackers, a crunchy veggie of cucumber or celery, and a fruit… preferably orange)… they can expand the tastebuds at home if that’s their preference and indulge the urge to eat the same comfortable foods at school.

    Other kids, the reverse may work and they may be more open to trying new things at school. My oldest has proven that to be true time and time again. I just found out he is eating blueberry muffins… he has hated them before… because he tried one thinking it was a chocolate chip one and found out the ones that the school makes… he likes.

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