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As we get ready for school, we’ve gathered our supplies, maybe purchased new shoes, and many of us are toting a new lunch box. But then, the big question — what to put in the lunch box?! We thought we’d walk through some of our hints for how to prepare a successful lunch experience for your child.

children eating lunch montessori

The internet, especially Pinterest, is full of ideas about what to put in a child’s lunch. Many of them are cute, creative, and look delicious. Several Pins we came across were touting “A Month of School Lunches!” In addition to cute and creative, many seem quite time-consuming, and not necessarily ideas we would recommend for children.

Below are some of our hints about what to pack in school lunches. We hope these are helpful!

Lunches can be simple.

Many times, children, as well as adults, eat the same food every day. The same chicken and rice, the same sandwich with apple sauce, left over pasta from the night before. While food can be perceived as a toy or a game, it’s actually sustenance, to nourish our bodies. Don’t worry if your child comes to school with the same thing in their lunch every day. Nutrition is more valuable than creativity.

Lunches can be limited in scope.

We often hear worries from parents about giving their child enough food in their lunch, and then concerns when things come back still in the lunch box. Three to four options can provide a child with enough variety, while still ensuring most of the lunch gets eaten.

children eating lunch montessori

Lunch is an opportunity for more than just eating.

During lunch, we always encourage the children to eat. As they will tell you, their primary job during lunch is to eat. However, so much more is happening. Children are working on independence, and finding new strengths in helping one another. The children carefully select and open one item at a time, placing it on their plate to eat it. If it needs warming in the microwave, they ask their lunch partner to be excused and warm it in the kitchen. They offer and ask for assistance. They eat with fork and spoon, which we provide along with a glass plate and cup. They tidy their place and offer to help others. The primary goal might be nutrition, feeding their bodies after a morning of hard work, but there is so much more happening.

children eating lunch montessori

All this being said, if you are inspired by children’s lunches and want to create something new and exciting every day, please, go ahead! But if lunch is a stressor in your day, we want to assuage any concerns. Simple, nutritious lunches are just fine.


Written by:

Charlotte Wood

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