The first day my kid came back from Kindergarten without eating her lunch. I warned her that if she didn’t eat her lunch, she would get the same food breakfast, lunch and dinner indefinitely. She loves this book – Bread and Jam for Frances (I Can Read Book 2) by Hoban. In the book the main character decides to not eat the healthy yummy packed lunch so the parents gave Frances bread and jam sandwiches for every meal till she begged the mother to serve her what the parents had been eating.
My kid understands the message in this book and since then her lunch box is mostly empty. It’s a great book to have in your home library.
This recent article on USA Today brings up some great ideas that more schools and preschools should consider implementing.
Think of lunchtime not as a break from school but a crucial part of a child’s school day. I want to take the idea of a food coach as discussed in the USA Today article further. What if, just for the younger kids, we actually make lunch a period itself, where a parent or a teacher teaches the kids about table manners, nutrition education, produce education? The teacher can talk about her meal, and some of the kids can discuss what they are eating. That way the kids can start to think about their meals. Having more adult involvement during meal time to encourage kids on taking a bite or trying something would go so far in making kids eat healthy. Wouldn’t that just be an incredible way to educate these Kinder and 1st graders about eating right?
With schools cutting back on activities, this could even serve as an enrichment activity. After all, what is more fundamental to our existence than eating?