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School lunch tips and tricks one year on…

We’ve had a few different blog posts with lunch box ideas and teeth healthy tips over the last few years, I will link these at the end of this post. This year I wanted to just give my perspective after one full year of school lunches. I also wanted to talk a little about the reality of school lunch and the time children actually have to eat their lunch.

Ruby started junior infants last year, I was obsessed with what type of lunch box to buy and what would go into it, I think over the year we have streamlined things to what works for us and I think what probably works for most families. I worked myself into knots looking on Instagram at what other people were giving their kids for school and you know what I have nothing but respect for the mums and dads who send bento boxes filled with sprouts and hummus every day but unfortunately it just wouldn’t work in our house.

I do tend to make up her lunch each morning because I want it to be fresh for her and as a result I don’t have a huge amount of time, anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a morning person so I’m usually dragging myself out of bed then rushing around in a flap to get everything done before we need to leave. I do have the best of intentions but it never pans out well. This year will be different though…. right?

Anyway back to lunch boxes, we went with a sistema bento box last year which has one large section, two smaller areas and a little tray you can use to split it further if you need to. I discovered early on the tray was a novelty and she sometimes wasn’t able to close the lunchbox with it in so that’s been relegated until she’s older.  So be sure to have your little one practice opening and closing their lunchbox.

Each day she gets a mini pot of yogurt or a pouch, usually the Tesco own brand or the Glenisk kids banana yogurt if I can find it with a plastic spoon from a calpol box because it fits into the little square in the lunchbox and it never goes missing (a Cliona O Connor trick). In the other square she gets fruit of some sort, chopped up apple or strawberries or blueberries usually, sometimes a mix of two depending what day of the week it is. Then in the bigger square the carb goes in, so maybe a cheese sandwich or brown bread and butter or crackers and cheese. Here are 4 examples below that I posted on Insta stories over the year.

Lunch box inspiration

I started off putting more food in and it was giving her too many options and she was leaving too much each day (food waste drives me bananas). She also used to eat the yogurt first which meant that some of the remaining yogurt would spill over and end up on the carb element and then she wouldn’t eat that so now she’s trained to think of the yogurt as her dessert. Fruit first in the small break then carb and then yogurt in the bigger break. It also means she actually eats all the carb to get to the yogurt stage.

Hope this helps someone.x


Lunchbox buying tips – click here

Teeth healthy lunch box ideas – click here

Preschool lunch ideas – click here

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