Planning school lunchboxes: First step


When our son first went to kindergarten, I panicked about what food to prepare for him to take to school. This resulted in a meeting with his class teacher who diplomatically told me that he was bringing too much food with him and that he was having trouble finishing everything. Since then, I have moved backwards and forwards in terms of pre-packaged, ready prepared food and snacks vs. home-made, everything from scratch food.  For now, I am on a “let’s-prepare-everything-from-scratch-since-I-am-not-working-outside-the-house-anyway” mode. I just find it to be more economical to prepare lunchboxes at home, and I get to cater to his liking (while adding in some of the good stuff.) To be honest, for me, it is also one of my languages of love – preparing something that is different, nutritious and he happens to like as well.

So, how do I work out the lunchboxes? First, I sat down with my 12 year old son for a quick “consultation” to find out:

  • his likes (anything with cheese, warm soups, baked stuff, chicken, prawns, items with mince meat, potatoes, fruit etc)
  • his dislikes (anything too spicy, pungent tasting or smelling)
  • his preference vs mine (he prefers no repetition of daily meals in his lunchbox e.g: he does not want to bring stuff from breakfast or anything that he would have to eat at dinner when he gets home – though this would make life easier for me, but never mind.)
  • the dealbreakers (what he definitely do not want in the lunchboxes – rice, fried rice, fried noodles, nasi lemak, anchovies, sambal and the likes.)

With the brief from the client obtained, I have a workable guideline to follow, and he agrees that anything that I prepare that follows the above specs will be fine by him. In terms of the repetition, he actually at times, requests for a taste of his lunchbox items for breakfast (ahah!) as he could not wait to taste the food at lunch time.

So far, it has been good. He seems to enjoy his lunch box, and provides feedback on whatever that does not work as well as I had hoped – e.g. “the vietnamese rice rolls were delicious, however, the sauce was too spicy and strong tasting.” It has provided a great opportunity for two-way communication for us. I also find that he has developed a way of communicating feedback constructively and gently and there has been little need for me to sharpen my claws or lick my wounds, (aww….sniffles.)  Sometimes, I can even slip little notes such as “have a wonderful day!” in his lunch pack as a surprise – though I can imagine this could actually backfire soon, the further along into teenage-hood he gets to.

Next, weekly plan for lunchboxes.

About mumstech
Retired at 40 after working in various industries including banking and financial services, oil and gas as well as higher education.Now a stay-at-home mum, cheerleader for husband and son, cleaner, nutritionist, cook, laundry lady, driver, clerk cum administration assistant, public relations, personal assistant... I never knew that squeaky clean floors can give me such satisfaction!

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