Healthy Packed Lunches Versus School Dinners
This week there was an item on the news about healthy packed lunches. I felt I could hear a visible sigh go round the country. What are we going to be told or lectured about now. It does not take much for mums to start feeling guilty about what we feed our children – and now our packed lunches are under scrutiny.
The thing is it used to be that in many schools packed lunches were a better alternative than the slop which was being served in the form of Turkey Twizzlers and the like. That generally is no longer the case.
Which means if the packed lunches you create are unimaginative and or unhealthy, then maybe now is the time to make the change to school dinners. By the way – I have a dreadful admission to make. My packed lunches were boring, repetitive and by the end of the week probably missing items, as I always seemed to be running out of food. Actually it was probably the fact that my packed lunches were so grim that moved my kids to opt for school dinners. Although often the other big factor is whether their friends have packed lunches or hot dinners.
The benefits of children having hot dinners are simple.
- They are having a nice hot meal at lunchtime – good during the winter.
- You do not need to wrack your brains to make your child’s packed lunches healthy, interesting and varied.
- You won’t ever run out of pack-up items.
- You do not need to shop for these items.
- Or in my case do a special shop quite often for these items.
- Don’t need to make their packed lunch everyday.
- Make sure the kids remember to take them to school
- No worry that someone else is going to whip today’s special treat.
- It won’t get lost, squashed or leak.
- Your children are more likely to experiment with different types of food with their friends than you, particularly if they are fussy eaters.
- They will not be quite so ravenous when they come out of school.
- They will not need quite such a big dinner at tea time.
All these things will mean you are going to save yourself a bit of time – and also money too. School dinners are subsidised. Your shopping is not. When you purchase your kids packed lunches you also need to take into account your travel costs, time and the packaging that you use.
Still not convinced? Then see if you can make an appointment with the school to come in at lunchtime, or just before to meet the cooks and see what the menus and meals look like.If your child is worried because they may not like the lunches, or they won’t have anyone to sit with – then just gently suggest they give it a go for a week or two. Maybe speak to their teacher or their friends mums –to see whether you can persuade them to change to hot dinners too.
Most of all persevere – if you are busy it is one thing that you can delegate and will give you that extra few minutes every day and will probably be better for your child too.