When packing your child’s lunch, we ask for you to, as much as possible, pack items that are easy for your child to open on their own. The teachers do go around and help open things, but the less opening there is the smoother the lunch seems to go. This especially goes for Lunchables, pudding cups, go-gurt, fruit cups, reusable plastic containers and some thermoses. (If you can limit these items, that would be super.) While we are all about being as green as possible, (we do a whole unit in the Spring called “Don’t trash the ‘Nati), we need to be realistic as well with the containers sent in the lunchboxes to preschool.
When I pack my boys lunch, I usually pack a drink, which is usually a juice box, or small water bottle, (some kids may need both), a napkin, a fruit, a vegetable, (even if they don’t eat the vegetable, I like them to get used to the idea of a vegetable), a sandwich, which usually includes the protein part of the lunch, yogurt with a spoon, (except not with my son Abe, who insists he is allergic to the smell of yogurt, and has been sent to the nurse many times because of this odor allergy,) if there is not cheese on the sandwich, and a small special treat. (On really special days, I may even pack chips.) This seems to provide enough food, offer enough choices, and cover all the food groups.
After we have students sit at their lunch box, we clean our hands, say our prayer, and then dig in! At this time, the teachers go around and help the students open any hard to open items. Please note we expect students to be able to feed themselves and do not feed them. Some students will eat a lot, and some just aren’t that hungry and won’t eat much, which is fine. We try to send back any food that is not eaten, so you have an idea of what they ate at preschool, or you can have them eat it later in the day if they are hungry. Please keep in mind that sometimes the student will throw everything away before we get to them. (If they throw away their lunch box, we do dig that out of the trash.)
During lunch time at preschool, we do our best to encourage students to eat the substantial part of their meal first, and then we have a special count down to end our lunch, which ends with indulging in their special treat. Please keep in mind that the special treat can be anything that your child thinks is special: fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, 5 M&Ms, yogurt, marshmallows, yogurt covered raisins,cereal, Rice Krispie Treats, etc. Just make sure to tell them what their special treat is. For some reason, this can be awfully confusing to some students, and they will insist that the Scooby Snacks, or Fruit by the Foot in their lunch is not their special treat and are totally bummed out because they think no one packed them a special treat.
Feel free to send any notes in lunchboxes. We will help the children read any notes that appear in their lunches. Some parents (Mrs. Kim) have even tied in the notes with our Friday Fun days. So, for red day, the note was red, Blue day, blue, etc. Keep in mind, that the majority of the time, the lunchboxes will not need an ice pack. It is up to you if you choose to pack one or not, but please note, for some reason, preschoolers are very confused by them. Many times they think they are supposed to eat them, or think they are the special treat. Also, they get thrown away a lot of times. Finally, please realize your child’s teacher will do the best they can to help manage plastic containers, prevent accidental throwing out of things, (I’m so happy we do not have retainers in preschool), and leaking juice boxes, but we are not always 100%, even though we strive to be.