Guest Post – Jenny – School Lunches

Hi everyone, I am Jenny Lynn from simply family and designing for home. Alice and I go way back to a time when we were goofy teens. In fact I spent many summer nights trying to Tee Pee her house, only to have her mom catch me in the act. Which meant I had to clean it up. Of course I was not alone in this act, it usually involved a Young Woman’s leader driving and a sleep over. We grew up in the same ward. It has been so fun to be in touch with her again.

The last four years I have been working in an elementary school. Part of my job besides being an aide includes working in the lunchroom as a guard. Really I spend my time doing mommy type things, like cleaning up spills, giving reminders about table manners, cleaning up their own mess when done and so much more. After spending so much time in the lunchroom I started to notice a few things, that maybe other moms would love to know. This year on my family blog I have started sharing my Lunchroom tips once a week. Alice has given me a chance to share with you a few of those tips.

1. Please put both the child’s name and the teacher’s name somewhere on the lunch box. When a lunch box is found, if it has the teachers name on it, it makes it easier to either place it in the right lunch bucket or get it to the right classroom.

2. Fruit, what to do to make them eat their fruit. Well, a little container of fruit dip goes a long way. Also make sure those apples are cut up. Little ones, first graders especially still have a hard time eating the skins of apples due to loose teeth. Recently I have seen some children with cut up peaches, which in turn other children are begging for just a small piece of. Bananas don’t get eaten as well as you would think. They seem to be the perfect fruit for a home lunch. Well, they don’t always look that appealing after sitting in a lunch box all morning. kind of warm, and bruised from being bonked around as the child swings that lunch box around. I think you get the picture. Bananas and apples are the most thrown out fruit I see each day.

3. Do they eat everything you pack? No! Even if they tell you that they do most likely they empty what they could not finish right into the trash. They are not always eating everything that gets packed. Decided with your child a head of time what they should do with the food they don’t feel like eating at lunch time. Most children don’t want to upset their mothers because of the expectation of having to eat everything. There are days when a snack is brought into the classroom and eaten before lunch time. Leaving them too full to eat everything you have lovingly packed. Keep this in mind on party days, those thanksgiving meals, or other special days, etc.

4. Look at the lunch menu to see what is being served ahead of time. Then plan what days your child will be eating at school or bringing a lunch. We do this at our house. My 6th grader has loved packing her own home lunch this year.

5. Which brings me to this, please involve your child in planning their home lunches. There are so many wonderful ideas out there on how to pack the perfect home lunch. This is a perfect time to build up those communication skills with your children. Although it seems like a small thing, talking about what they like is important. I have even been doing this more with my children, of whom I have 5

6. Trading does take place at lunch,. Hot trade items include Capri suns, goodies (of course), Gogurts and chips. There are times that my children have planned a day a head of time what they are going to be trading. I have let them do it.

7. Cutest thing I see is the love notes that are written in a merriment of different ways. Many times I will have a child show me his/hers mothers love. There are times I read it to them. It really does mean something to your child. It doesn’t need to be everyday. But once in a while it is a nice surprise for them.

I do have many other things I plan on sharing in the weeks to come on my own blog about the lunchroom. I am so grateful to Alice for giving me the chance to post here.

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