The kindy lunch. It’s a tricky one. I don’t know about you, but my toddler and food can be a hard thing. It’s not that she’s a fussy eater, she likes most foods. It’s just that sometimes she just doesn’t want to eat, and eating-time can become a long, drawn out and somewhat painful process. We can also be a bit paranoid about her food intake because of the crappy time we went through with her weight and size in her first year of life.
Kindy also has lots of rules about food… no nut-related products, not too much processed food if you can help it, easy on the sugar. Which in general is how we try to feed Mayana anyway (aside from the nuts, she loves peanut butter, almonds and macadamia nuts in particular), but at home it’s just easier to gauge what is going to actually be eaten on a particular day. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t kowtow to Mayana’s every food-related whim, but I do think that it helps when she gets to choose or even help us to make the food she is going to eat. The daycare centre Mayana used to go to in Toowoomba provided all meals (delicious, home-made type meals, cooked on site…) so it never really factored for us before. Unfortunately we are not so lucky with the Daycare centres here.
So, I have tried really hard to approach this Kindy lunch box thing in a creative way, still incorporating an element of choice and variety, and maintaining a healthy standard. If you follow me on Instagram (I’m @zoeyjoyful if you’re interested), you will have seen some of my #kindylunch photos, and I have been wanting to share some of them here on my blog.
I have previously been inspired by ‘Muffin Tin Mom’, and found that offering small amounts of lots of different kinds of foods was quite successful. Obviously I couldn’t send a muffin tin to Kindy with Mayana, so I had to get a bit creative. I bought myself a bunch of small, round Sistema ‘klipit’ containers, on sale at Woolies for 64c each. Six of them fit perfectly in our large Sistema lunchbox. The three of us have been having lots of fun thinking of interesting combinations of food to put in them, and Mayana has already got a number of firm favourites that she requests most days.
Here is a sample of what Mayana has been eating at Kindy lately:
star-shaped vegemite sandwiches | peaches | yoghurt | grapes | cherry tomatoes | cheese
dates, apricots + raisins | banana chips | sausages (from dinner) | yoghurt | boiled egg (from our chooks, super exciting apparently) | cherry tomatoes
dates, apricots, craisins + banana chips | lychees + grapes | cucumber + tomatoes | yoghurt | carrot + hummus | cheese + vegemite wraps.
As you can see, cherry tomatoes are a firm favourite, and usually the first to go. Fruit and dried fruits are also requested almost daily (I can’t get over how much Mayana loves dried apricots and dates!). Peter and I have been keeping a list on the fridge of ideas, which we add to whenever we think of something. I’m really hoping the novelty doesn’t wear off with this, because I have been having a lot of fun thinking of ideas and making these lunches each night. It’s been challenging too, trying to incorporate as much fresh foods as I can, and not including anything that has come out of a packet. I have been very pleasantly surprised almost daily at how little of her food is coming home, and it makes me happy to know that all that she is eating is healthy and doing her good.
What do you put in your kid’s Kindy lunches? And have you got any exciting ‘muffin tin’ ideas to share??