(Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the e-book DIY Lunchbox: Flip, Pick and Pack in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine! This post contains affiliate links.)
When I taught first and second grade, I could tell which kids packed their own lunches. One girl opened her lunchbox to reveal an apple and a half-eaten bag of Pirate Booty. Really. Couldn’t the parents together something more substantial?
Now I’m a parent.
Now I understand.
Only my oldest (age 6) goes to school, but her three little brothers come along for the ride. All four kids need to be in the car seats before 8 AM. Is it any wonder that one day last week I forgot to send her snack, and today I forgot her thermos? When January rolls around, things will get even tougher as I’ll need to find time to nurse the new baby.
What I really need is for my first grader to pack her own healthy school lunches.
But is that really possible?
Introducing… an awesome new e-book from Melissa Taylor, the educator and Pinterest expert who blogs at the award-winning Imagination Soup.
What is DIY Lunchbox: Flip, Pick, and Pack?
It’s an e-book that will help you
- simplify lunch packing
- get ideas for school lunches
- teach your kids to pack their own healthy lunches
- find ideas to encourage nutrition for kids ages 2-10
What you’ll get:
- lunch suggestions for each of the five big categories of food: grains, protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Each page has a set of appealing photographs with simple captions. You’ll also receive a bonus mini-book that you can assemble so your child can flip through the lunch choices herself. You’ll also find blank pages so you can add your family’s own favorite foods that aren’t already pictured.
- links to suggested lunch gear: lunchboxes, drink bottles, containers, and accessories
- book lists for teaching kids about nutrition
- learning activities to promote a love of healthy food
- tips for how to cook with kids – from ages 2 to 10
Why I love it:
1. My first grader loves packing her own lunch.
I printed out the appealing mini-book that comes in the download. Then I laminated it (with my awesome home laminator), punched holes and bound it with metal rings. Now all I have to do is pull it out, set it beside my daughter’s empty lunch bag, and she gets to work.
Since only healthy choices are on the menu, I can let go and let her do it! She chooses what she’d like, gets the food from the pantry or fridge, and packs it herself. Sometimes she needs my help – like when I need to cut the watermelon, slice the cheese, or open a can. But the more we do this, the more she’ll be able to tackle some of those tasks herself.
We had made healthy homemade graham crackers the day before, so she was excited to add these for her grain.
She added canned pineapple for her fruit.
3. My daughter eats the lunches she packs.
My daughter has always been a good eater. She never refused a single bite of baby food. (Don’t worry – two of her brothers are picky eaters. I have been humbled.) Still, she was bringing home portions of her lunch uneaten – because what I had chosen wasn’t her favorite, or because she didn’t have time to eat it.
In packing her own lunch, she is choosing what she feels like eating that day – in portion sizes she knows she can handle.
4. I’m giving up control and helping my daughter gain independence.
Okay, I admit it – I like to be in charge. I prefer to be the one packing the lunches, preparing the meals, choosing the clothes, and setting the schedule… but I know that I need to give up some of that control, especially as my kids get older. With Lunchbox Love, I can feel good about letting my daughter make her own choices. Because when she follows the guidelines, every choice is a good one!
And this little girl – who reads mightily but still struggles with snapping her jacket and tying her shoes – feels a great sense of accomplishment and pride when she packs her lunch herself.
5. The book lists are a great resource.
As a teacher and self-proclaimed “book geek,” Melissa is an expert on children’s literature. I love how she has four recommended book lists on nutrition: one for toddlers, preschoolers, early elementary age kids, and kids ages 8-10. Reading and discussing books together is one of the easiest and most effective ways to teach our kids!
6. The suggested learning activities are practical and fun!
Like the book lists, the learning activities are sorted by age. Take toddlers to the grocery store and talk about the produce you see. Teach preschoolers how to choose apples and gently place them in the bag. Play one of the suggested nutrition games for kids ages 5-7. And analyze food commercials with your older child.
7. DIY Lunchbox inspires me to do more cooking with my kids.
Have you considered letting your toddler add shredded cheese to a recipe, letting your preschooler make the roll-ups, or letting your older child flip the pancakes? Kids are much more willing to eat nutritious fare when they help prepare the food — and DIY Lunchbox has over thirty ideas for cooking with kids.
8. The book is concise and readable.
I just love to get lost in a good book. And then I watch the house fall apart! The time for reading lengthy books is – well, it’s not while I have four kids ages six and under. I love that DIY Lunchbox gives me everything I need to know in 34 pages. I can handle that!
Visit this link to get your own copy!
© 2013 – 2014, Anna G. All rights reserved.