Lidl ambassador, Siobhan Berry (AKA Mummy Cooks) is an expert in feeding your children from small babies right up to teenagers. She’s here with some brilliant advice on lunches for children who are just starting school and how to get your kids started in the kitchen with eggs.
Moving to big school is a huge transition for both you and your little one. Most likely, your child just graduated from the cosy atmosphere of a pre-school. Here the food is a soft, mushy dinner, like a casserole or shepherd's pie. With lots of attention from the surrounding adults and some peer pressure from their friends, your child probably gobbled up their food, leaving you with nothing to worry about. This is why the sudden change in routine when they begin big school can be daunting for parents and children alike. Suddenly, your little one has to be responsible for and manage their own mealtime. They have to take out their lunchbox, eat all their food and then put away their lunch box - all by themselves. Although it sounds straightforward, it can actually be quite difficult for many children to grasp the concept of what school lunch is.
1. Have a picnic and talk to your child about break times during their school day. If you are going to be sending them in with a lunch box or food flask, get your child to practice opening it themselves.
2. Prepare lunches that might work well for your child in school in the weeks leading up to the big day – variety is crucial so the more options, the better.
3. Think of snacks that your child loves – can you prepare these ahead of time and freeze them?
4. Choose fruits that are easy to peel and not too messy.
5. Squeezable yoghurt tubes are the perfect lunch box addition without the mess.
6. If your child comes home with their lunch uneaten, give them a ‘second chance’ to eat it before moving onto an afternoon snack.
7. Try not to overfill the lunch box – they will most often choose what they prefer and it becomes difficult to add variety each day.
8. Involve them as much as possible when preparing their lunches and they will be more likely to eat it.