I was given some really excellent advice recently by someone who had my best interest in mind.
It was about minimizing the amount that the mother/father or “head parenting partner”or whomever is in charge with the daily routines involving the children to minimize YOUR stress and amount of responsibilities in order to make things run as smoothly as possible, and at the same time teach responsibility and accountability to your children… Ok big words I know.
Basically it’s time for the kids to start making their own lunches. Yep, check one more thing off your list. In our house it’s Mommy that feeds the masses and….
in our house we go through food like a country just coming out of a serious year-long famine so it is my job to make sure that there is stuff for them to pack. Believe me we have had some weird lunches when we are low on groceries, which happens every other day if I do not go shopping constantly.
I also am taking the responsibility of assisting them if they need it and the best part I have found since I recently implemented this is that THEY LOVE DOING IT!
I was told about a recent study which showed that boys were less likely to know how to prepare their lunch than girls.
I can’t find it online but I thought about it and in my house at least for the younger 6 children, it rang true. I thought about it and when we are running low the girls will find something to make and the boys will opt for school lunch.
Slightly ironic since our oldest, who is male is a professional chef….
So after self-reflection I realized I am raising some Mamas boys and there is no reason why the girls should be pro-active in their lunch making but the boys shouldn’t.
So here are my five reasons that I recommend implementing the rule that you have to make your own lunch:
It teaches responsibility. When you move out of the house you are going to be responsible for feeding yourself; so why wait!
It lessens the burden on “Mom” there are a trillion other things that you could be spending time doing, making lunches for 5 of my kids takes me about 30 minutes. Now I have 30 more minutes to myself…or um…actually for laundry!
It’s healthier. There are numerous studies on the web that indicate that even though there is a healthy lunch initiative the school provided lunches are still very bad for our kids, and they are filled with processed foods and junk.
You know what your kids are eating; and THEY know and learn about healthy food choices. This piggybacks off of #4 but it is so true; you can buy what you feel is healthy and appropriate for them to eat. (Do not be surprised when you find out they traded that $2.00 organic granola bar for a pop-tart though!)
You can contribute to a green lifestyle by using re-usable containers for everything.
And an added bonus – if they don’t finish their lunch at school then they can eat it as soon as they get home for a pre-snack before asking for another snack!
To sum it all up; making lunches is the healthier option, it gives kids a chance to learn about food and responsibility, frees up some time and at least they are not eating that rubber hot dog that bounces… (every school has that bouncing hot dog story)
In our household shopping for lunches gives me a chance to tailor to different dietary needs, such as vegetarian, gluten-free and the aversion to applesauce that one kid suffers from – but hey he can choose to put an apple in his lunch instead!
I do recommend setting aside a specific spot in the fridge and a special section in the cabinet for “SCHOOL LUNCH ONLY FOODS” and be very clear to them BUT I have very little faith that this will prevent your kids from eating them all for non-school snacks…..
Good luck and I would LOVE TO HEAR COMMENTS FROM OTHER LARGE FAMILIES ON HOW YOU DO YOUR LUNCHES!!