On the first day of preschool, my daughter didn’t budget her time well at lunch. I had packed the stainless steel container with foods that she likes, but she wasn’t able to eat quickly enough. So when I picked her up she was crying and complaining of a headache. We talked about how important it is to eat all of the food in the lunchbox and to drink water throughout the day. On her second day, she drank so much water that when I went to pick her up I found she was wearing different underwear and pants. LOL! I reassured her that it was a good kind of mistake. She eventually found the right balance.
To keep the food varied and separated I am using red and blue silicone muffin cups. I can fit 4 or 5 into the stainless steel container. That helps me think clearly when I pack her lunch, and it also makes it more interesting and appealing when she opens it at lunchtime. I usually put two kinds of fruit and one vegetable. Then I put some kind of cheese and some crackers or a small sandwich. Some days she asks me for an egg, but she doesn’t want a hard boiled egg; she wants a fried egg (over medium)! There aren’t any children who have food allergies in her class, so I can even pack peanuts.
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The only problem with this way of packing her lunch is that I have to carry her lunchbox to her cubby and put it flat on the shelf. If I let her carry it in by the handle, the food will get shaken around and mixed up. The muffin cups aren’t quite tall enough to prevent spills from one cup to another. I don’t know how she carries it from her cubby to her table, but I try to minimize the damage by carrying it in for her in the mornings.
Two small packs of Blue Ice keep it cool within the insulated lunch box. I don’t have to pack her a drink, because they all drink water in cups that they wash and store at school. So far, so good.