My kids have always been good eaters – part of this is that they like food, and the other part is that I do things in a particular way which has had good results.
- When I try a new meal, I ask for a helper in the kitchen (one twin only). This makes the other twin super curious about what’s going on and while I’m cooking, I make a lot of oooh and aaah sounds, and we taste. We then invite the other twin to taste too, so by the time supper rolls around, everyone wants to eat.
- We don’t snack on carbs in between meals (we’ve relaxed this a bit but that’s usually in winter when everyone is hungrier) so they are genuinely hungry when it’s meal time.
- I don’t make a big deal about eating or not eating. I also don’t always feel like eating, so eat/ don’t eat – whatever! But… there are no alternative meals 🙂
So they still eat very well at lunch time, but I have a few rules after trying all sorts of combinations the first couple of weeks of “big school”.
- there has to be a sandwich and fruit/ veg (my one twin could be vegetarian so often asks for carrots or tomatoes instead of fruit)
- we only allow tuckshop money on Fridays, and not every Friday
- I only pack snacks (nice things aside from the fruit and sandwich) on a Friday. I generally pack shareable items because I’m encouraging sharing (mini packs of gummy sweets/ superC/ raisins/ peanuts and raisins/ mini cheddars)
- if they don’t eat their lunch and only have the snacks, then that becomes the lunch when they get home from school. I don’t ever throw food away.
Sandwich fillings are usually ham (I like the Woolworths beech smoked ham), cheese, or peanut butter and jam. My kids don’t like Melrose (cheese spread) and we have never bought Marmite (Dion and I don’t like it). They do eat fish paste but like me, they prefer it at home on hot, buttered toast.
When I try to introduce new things, they tell me they like their same old fillings and it’s not boring for them.
I also think about the mess factor with lunches – while things like tuna mayo and egg mayo spreads are delicious, I wouldn’t want them messing about with that at school. As Kendra told me once, “we want food we can eat quickly so we have time to play”. Got it!
All the pics were taken with my phone at night which is why they’re less-than-stellar.
I’m always asked about this topic so I hope this helps at least one mom. Let me know if this helps/ amuses you!