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What’s for lunch? and a Giveaway!

I’m happy today to be part of the Campbell’s Soup “What’s for lunch?” discussion.

Because if you’re a mom, that’s a question you hear just about everyday.

Do you ever wonder how much food goes into the garbage at your kid’s school?

I shudder to think about it.  You can send broccoli or blueberries in your kid’s lunch, but unfortunately, you can’t make them eat it.

What’s a mother to do?

The best solution I’ve found is to give my kids a big say in what goes into their lunches.

It starts at our house when making my grocery list.  I ask the question, “What healthy snacks do you want for your lunches?”  Each of my kids get a chance to add something healthy, that they like, to the list.

My kids are in 5th and 6th Grade and are old enough to make their own lunches.

The rules are, they need to take at least two fruits and vegetables.  I try to have fruits that are in season and cut up vegetables that are easy to pack in their lunches.  If I don’t have fresh fruit, we always have home canned applesauce, peaches, or dried fruit like apple rings, mangoes, and fruit leather.

When my kids decide what goes into their own lunches, I think they are much more likely to eat what they pack.

We love our Thermos for taking smoothies or hot foods like soup or pasta.  Ben especially loves taking hot foods for his lunch.

My girls love their sandwiches.

Since they are making healthy choices and are packing up their own lunch, I’m happy they are all getting just exactly what they want.

I think that “What’s for lunch?” is more than just a meal, it’s about teaching our kids to make lifelong, healthy eating choices.

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And now for a $50 Gift Card Giveaway sponsored by Campbell’s® Soup.  To enter leave a comment on this post answering:

How do you get your kids involved in deciding what’s for lunch?

The Rules:

  • Contest closes on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm MDT
  • Only one comment per person please.
  • Random winners will be announced on Tues, March 19

Thank you to my friends at Campbell’s for sponsoring this giveaway!   Be sure to visit the Campbell’s Soup website where you can find recipes, coupons, and more.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Campbell’s Soup.  All opinions and ideas are my own.

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40 Responses to “What’s for lunch? and a Giveaway!”

  • Michele T:

    Healthy lunches is important to me too! My kids often comment and receive comments from friends that their lunches are the best and healthiest!! Yeah, I am one proud mom!! My kids have a say in what they like or don’t like for their lunches. Thanks for the chance to win this amazing giveaway!!

  • My child eats the school lunch But at home I usually ask her what sounds good and then I have always put vegetables & fruits fresh with the main course. Since I started this young, she likes alot of veggies & fruits, which is great!

  • My daughter is older now, but as a child, I packed her lunches for her each day. Her involvement was in picking things out at the grocery store. During the winter, Campbells soup was always a winner!

  • Jen Y:

    Well, my kid pretty much feeds himself – from choosing to cooking & clean up. :o) But he IS 20 yrs old and I am very glad to see some of my influence in his food choices. On the rare occasion I can get him to tell me what he’d like for ME to make for his lunch (I occasionally fix a lunch for him to take to work) he usually asks for soup. Seriously! How funny is that for a Campbell’s soup giveaway!

  • Jen LC:

    We keep a running list of new things my daughter would like to try and things that she always likes in her lunch. I divide them up into protein, fruits, veggies, and snack columns and then she can pick one from each column. She’s only in Kindergarten, so I’m still making sandwiches and packing things up, but she definitely feels like she’s a part of the process.

    The biggest takeaway for ME though, has been that she’s really full after one from each category. I was waaaay overpacking her preschool lunches and then beating myself up that she wasn’t eating enough. She was eating enough for HER, but it took involving her in the process for me to learn that!

    Thanks for the chance to win…your blog is one of my all-time favorites. :)

    Jen

  • I have a 7 year old and a 5 year old. I have went through the process of sadly finding out that most of their healthy lunches that I packed were being thrown away, and replaced with fruit snacks and cookies that can be purchased in the lunch line! After speaking with the school administrators about this issue, I have my children now make their own little grocery list. When we go to the store, they find the things on the list and also find some healthy “treats” that they can eat last. If they have leftovers, they save them for after school activities, or everything gets thrown out at home. This way I am seeing what they eat! My 7 year old just started this year with packing her own lunch, and she has the rule of 1 veggie, 1 fruit, and 1 dairy everyday. She’s doing great now! She has always been a health nut though, loving broccoli and cauliflower over other veggies! It’s my son that I will worry about…next year he will begin Kindergarten, and I can’t get him to eat anything that doesn’t come from the carb department ;)

  • Lenis:

    My daughter looks at the school lunch menu each day and decides if it is a take a lunch day or a school lunch day. She packs her own lunch if it is something she doesn’t care for.

  • Stephanie:

    My boys would like to take warm soup or stew more often but we have not found a good thermos yet. The leaky mess is not fun at lunch time.

  • Dayna:

    Like Calli’s kids, mine pack their own lunches–that way, there’s nothing in there that they didn’t choose, so (in theory, at least) there shouldn’t be any waste! They take a sandwich or a homemade burrito, a piece of fruit, and a healthy treat.

  • Heidi:

    I allow my boys to buy hot lunch once a week, sometimes twice if there is something they love or want to try. Lately with the menu changes or them getting older they say they don’t get enough food when buying lunch at school. It’s also a challenge because they only have about 20 minutes to eat and they are slow eaters. I always include one fruit, sandwich or yogurt with some crackers, and a cookie. I ask them what they want and that helps. One of my big challenges is getting them to drink their water (they don’t like juice boxes or flavored water and drink tons of milk at home).

  • Lorna:

    I have an extremely picky eater. His biggest challenge is getting protein since he doesn’t like meat. I always ask, “what protein do you want to day?”. He’ll choose between peanut butter, string cheese, yogurt, etc. If he chooses it, he’s much more likely to eat it!

  • Kara:

    They get a choice of 1 school lunch per week. Sometimes they don’t even choose a school lunch! When they take their lunch, they get to choose from a list of available options, but they must take 1 veggie and 1 fruit.

  • gina lovejoy:

    I sit down with the kids and the adds and I let them make suggestions then we build the lunch menu for the week. They are also learning to make their own sandwiches

  • Beth:

    My kids are grown now, but when they were in school they really liked leftover pizza for lunch. It sounds gross doesn’t it? Cold pizza that sits in a lunch bag half a day. But they really liked it.

  • Sandi Pierie:

    My children are all grown up. Grandchildren enjoy making own lunches because they get to try new recipes and they will eat their choices. Campbell’s are also a staple in the pantry.

  • barbara n:

    I start by asking them what they want, and make sure most of it is healthy or at least a reasonable compromise!

  • Dorothea:

    Recently, my grandkids stayed with me for an extended period of time during the school year, and I found that when they were involved in the menu planning and cooking for the dinner meal, they made healthier choices for packing their lunches (such as leftovers from dinner the night before) the next day. Win, win!

  • Anne Marie:

    I find if you let the kids help plan the menu and help shop for the items, they are much more willing to eat the results.

  • Maggie:

    I have a hard time getting my girls to eat different foods at lunch (or any meal, for that matter) but if requires some assembly (cracker sandwiches) or is cut in cute shapes, they tend to eat more of what I pack.

  • Samantha:

    I ask for my kids’ honest opinion about the lunch offerings. If they won’t eat it, I don’t want it wasted in the school garbage can!

  • Karli:

    Keep things interesting! Don’t have same lunch over and over again, even if that’s what’s in season. If you have to repeat, prep it differently. Add a sauce, dry it, roast it, leave it raw.

  • Sarah:

    He’s only in K, so he doesn’t pack it yet, but every day we ask what “entree” and what fruit he wants. Having the choice has helped reduce the wasted food!

  • Shaun:

    When my son was in grade school he took a sack lunch every day. I tried to make it healthy but taking into consideration his preferences(picky eater). I peeled and sliced the apples or oranges (or they would have probably ended up in the garbage)used whole wheat bread – but cut the crust off, and anything else I could think of to prevent most of his lunch going into the garbage.

  • Erin:

    It’s all about the presentation for my girl. Fruit and veggies cut in cute slices and sandwiches cut using cookie cutters. I also have pink reusable containers that she enjoys.

  • Michelle R.:

    I like to have all natural products for my children’s lunches like cut up fruits and nuts. I like to make sweet treats too. : )

  • Lori:

    I love this post and that your kids get to pack their own lunches! I love your rule about including healthy foods with it! My girls also pack their own lunch. One thing that has really helped us include more healthy food, is that we have stopped buying so many unhealthy snacks and treats. The girls have been pretty good about it and enjoy their lunches.

  • Kimi:

    We sit down on Sundays. I give them a few choices and they pick which ones they want.

  • Sam:

    We do something similar. My children get to pick the fruit and veggies each week at the grocery store. They love taking cucumbers with salt and pepper or carrot sticks and dressing. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  • Michelle C:

    I like including my children in food shopping. That makes it easy to teach them about healthy options, budgeting, etc in addition to allowing them to pick foods they are excited to eat. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  • Oh, between packing lunches and 2 snacks per day, It feels like I’m constantly cutting up fruit and vegetables! The kids have their favorites, and I try to include them when they’re in season. The little cuties are so tasty right now, and strawberries are so sweet and affordable, my kids are pretty easy going!

  • Rachael:

    I try and offer as much variety as possible and get them involved in picking out fruits and veggies at the store. Pinterest has also been really great in getting new ideas for me to offer them.

  • I pick two or three things and let the kids choose between them. If they have too many choices, it takes too long. I also show them how to choose ripe fruits and vegetables at the store.

  • Yvonne:

    I have healthy choices available everyday and let them tell me what they want. A piece of fruit is always included and I don’t think a sweet is necessary. Fortunately, both my kids are good eaters.

  • Deanna:

    I make school lunches the night before. When they’re home, they’re getting to the age that they can start making parts of their own lunches. We’ve always had healthy options available so they’ve learned to *pretty* make good choices.

  • Terry:

    My daughter and I shop together and plan her lunches in advance. We always talk about what are her healthy choices. She is an athlete and she is always hungry so we look for foods that will keep her going thru the day and on into practice.

  • Lori:

    I always try to talk about good choices. The kids would help pack their lunches at night, making the sandwich the next morning. My kids loved homemade bread and granola bars, cut up veggies. My youngest wanted salad every day, so those icy cold packs worked well. If you’re serving healthy food every night,it’s easier to have to right appetites for lunch. Stay away from chips, sweet drinks and cookies. My kids hated school lunch until the high school brought in Subways!

  • Katie:

    My kids eat hot lunch most days since it’s free and I’m on a budget. However, they love to help me pick out fruits and veggies at the store for snacks and weekend lunches!

  • Jeanene:

    I find the trick is to have plenty of options on hand. When I buy large bags of items my 11 year old daughter will help me put them in lunch sized baggies. Variety is the key to keeping them happy – and for better nutrition.

  • Joyce:

    It’s never to early to start healthy habits!

  • missy:

    I know I am after the official time but wanted to add an idea anyway because I believe this is so important. I try and pay attention to new things the kids pick up on that they like. For example, my little one decided he was in love with the flat bread deli sandwich they had on the samples table at Maceys. Even though my budget is limited I took the opportunity to check and see how close we could get to recreating these “Amazing” sandwiches as he called them. (Even the employee who was making the was “Amazing” to him.) I bought the ingredients (which were all on sale) and he and my others were in heaven for the next week taking their little pinwheel sandwiches with toothpicks in them. YEAH – a healthy new option when I want to mix things up a bit.

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