Packing our kids first school lunches and snacks are easy. We feed our kids incredible, wholesome, organic food at home, and we are excited to send them off to their first days of school with a shiny, reusable stainless steel container full of whole foods to fuel them during their busy day. But, then something happens that many of us didn’t necessarily anticipate…our children’s exposure to “food products” and their naturally sweetened eyes watching their friends rip open colourful packaging and eat all that we have chosen to not feed to our kids for a myriad of (good) reasons. And, it’s not just the kids that are affected…as eco-parents, we realize that we are not the majority, and, it’s even possible, that we are taunted to “just relax”, and allow our kids to indulge in the “fun”, because, after all, “everything is ok in moderation”. For any parent who has had their kale-and-steamed-sweet-potato-eating-kid begging for a rainbow sprinkled donut in front of everyone, or watches everyone from the playground run up to the ice cream truck after school, knows how very difficult this situation is to manage.
School is most frequently the place where young kids encounter an environment where they are choosing what to eat without us watching over their shoulder for the first time. We might know what is best to pack for our kids, and we know what safe, durable, reusable containers their lunches should be packed in, but it’s more about our children being able to make the right choices, for themselves, on their own. If we do it right, they will be proud, and be grateful for the privilege of eating well, plus they will never feel like they are missing out on what their peers are doing and eating, in fact, they might even start new, healthier trends.