With the school year ahead of us, lunchtime can be daunting. We all know how quickly children get bored of typical lunchtime items, not to mention that mornings can often feel rushed when lunch preparations aren’t going according to plan.
But school lunches can also be a great opportunity to introduce your kids to new foods and encourage a little independence. A recent survey by Whirlpool Canada shows that 70 per cent of Canadians agree that giving children an opportunity to try dishes from different cultures is a good way to encourage mutual understanding and respect.
To make the most of lunchtime meal prep and help families, children and classmates bond over a variety of tasty foods, Emma Waverman, a blogger and popular Canadian writer, shares her top tips.
Make it quality time. Time spent cooking with your kids gives you the chance to connect and work together each day. They love to be empowered and will feel happy to be included. Children often like a hot lunch once or twice a week, so making this prep time into quality time will help your child feel involved in the process and appreciative of the opportunity to work alongside their parents.
Encourage independence. Kids involved in the process will feel confident and independent, even if their involvement is as simple as packing their lunch. Start by finding a role in the kitchen suitable for your children, such as bagging lunches, washing fruits and veggies or coming up with ideas for next week’s meals. The new Whirlpool door-within-door refrigerator has flexible storage options and offers quick access to your child’s lunch picks.
Sample something new.
Inspire your kids by selecting new meals you would both like to try. Have them get involved in the food selection process and introduce new foods on a regular basis. Your kids may draw inspiration from their fellow classmates for meals to try or they may look to you for guidance. Trying new foods is a great way to keep lunches exciting.