Cafeteria or Lunchbox?

As the beginning of school nears closer (I have only three weeks of summer vacation left!), there will be many decisions parents and children will need to make. One such decision concerns lunch. Will your child eat lunch from the cafeteria or will you prepare it from home.

In my classroom, I typically have three or four students who are avid lunch bringers. I will then also have a couple of students who bring their lunch occasionally. In addition, I will have those two or three students who bug their parents until they get to bring their lunch once or twice during the year.

Parents choose to send their child’s lunch to school for various reasons. Some children are very picky eaters. Parents pack a special lunch that they know their child will eat. Other parents send lunch to school to save money. Packing a lunch can be a great savings, especially if you have multiple children in school. Other parents send a lunch to school with their child because they prefer to know that their child is eating healthy. These parents pack a nutritious lunch and check to see what the child has eaten each day by examining the lunchbox in the afternoon.

If you make the decision to send your child’s lunch to school each day, these are some things that you should consider.

Remind your child that he or she will be eating something different from the other children. Many children who bring their lunch long for a cookie or dessert offered by the cafeteria. If you do not mind your child having these, you may want to send money to school for your child to buy extras.

Make sure that your packaging is easy for your child to open.

Do not depend on the teacher to keep items cold or heat items up unless you have made previous arrangements. Most schools do not refrigerate or heat lunches for children. Purchase ice packs and foods that do not require heating.

Do not expect for the teacher to clean out the lunch box or wash out containers. You can remind your children to throw away any excess food.

Send the lunch to school the way your child eats it. If your child eats apples cut and peeled, then cut and peel them at home. Do not send a whole apple to school.

Remind your child to bring the lunch box home each day. Lunchboxes left over night or over the weekend can leave quite a stench in the classroom.

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