What’s in Your Little’s Lunchbox? Estelle Shares

By Estelle Hayes

My daughter, Emerson, is a four year-old creature of habit – much like her mama. She has some variation of this every single school day. Cheese quesadilla, apple sauce pouch and on occasion an organic yogurt tube or chewy granola bar and water.

Overall, I’m o.k. with this lunch. Sure, I wish there was a whole fruit of some sort involved. Say, an apple or a bowl of strawberries, but she eats berries with dinner every single night. And I’m thinking of springing a whole wheat tortilla on her some time soon. I’d love to try my hand at a homemade granola bar since she’s pretty excited about helping out in the kitchen whenever and wherever she can and I’d welcome a less-processed snack staple.

In general, I’ve found that talking honestly with her about the food she eats has helped to advance the actual variety of food she eats. We talk a lot about how our bodies “thank us” for fresh fruits and veggies and how her bones, muscles and brain is constantly growing and needs nutritious food. She likes this conversation (even if she still fusses over veggies on her dinner plate).

Don’t get me wrong, she still asks for special candy treats and cookies and is not shy in sharing with me when a classmate gets a sweet or a juice box stashed in their lunch.  I try to listen without judgement (I’m not looking to demonize dessert) and assure her that she gets plenty of treats, but our family likes to save them for home time or special outings.

What are you packing in your little’s lunchbox? Have you struggled over white vs. whole wheat bread? Do you pack a daily sweet treat? No judgement, here, I promise. Let’s help each other. Share your tips on how to get your kids eating more whole foods. And if you want to share your little’s lunch routine, email me at estelle@pinkmoondaily.com.

See what Melissa of Reverie-Daydream packs for her daughter.

Photo credit: Estelle Hayes

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  • Mary Wasielewski

    We’re doing pretty well I think, and I pack very similar items. My son very often has a sandwich, a yogurt, and a fruit. Oh and yes water. (Cream cheese or sun butter and all-fruit jam are most oft-requested, but sometimes he will throw in a request for tuna or a turkey and cheese roll-up. Today he had quesadillas.) We have always eaten whole wheat bread and tortillas, so that’s not a problem. I try to stick with in-season fruit, although it’s tough to provide some variety in some parts of the year. He has started asking for fruit-roll ups and juice boxes and some of the other things he sees his friends having, but we have similar conversations as you I think about healthy food and taking care of our bodies. Every now and then I’ll throw a hershey kiss or a couple chocolate-covered pretzels in there as an extra fun surprise.

  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    B wants cheese, strawberries and carrots daily. But he only eats one carrot…but still, he asks for them. He always wants chips which I will only do a few times a week. Rule is that cheese and strawberries must be eaten first. If those come home, no chips for a few days. I wish he’d eat more/different but he complains that lunch is too short and there isn’t enough time. Sadly, it’s about 20 min…including time to sit and get organized….so closer to ten to really eat.

    • http://torriesessions.blogspot.com/ Torrie @ a place to share…

      hailey complains of the same… brings home leftovers daily.

  • http://torriesessions.blogspot.com/ Torrie @ a place to share…

    i like that you are talking so much with her about it, continuously reminding her that (and how) her body appreciates the nutrients its being given. i have been trying to do the same. and it has made a huge difference. they are more receptive, and less close-minded/argumentative. “saving treats for home/special outings”… i like this approach. as for the daily treat, we go back and forth. sometimes they get a cookie (a minimally processed cookie! a step up from before! ;))… other times it’s just fruit or a granola bar. thankfully, they’re good with this. they don’t complain when the “treat” is not a total sugary-treat. as for the bread, although they prefer white, they’re okay with wheat (same with tortillas). lately we’ve been giving them the tj’s whole wheat sourdough… their favorite (but less “nutritious” than others).

    as i said before… love this conversation :).