Making Lunches for Highly Sensitive Kids
Making lunches is definitely one of the least favorite activities for parents when school starts. On the way to school this morning, our conversation was around throwing out main parts of lunch and then begging for food from friends was not cool. I find that at the beginning of the week - lunches are well received but by the end groceries are slim in the cupboards I have less fans about the content of their lunches. I also love getting reviews that Johnny's lunch that his mom prepares every day is different and fancy - sushi, homemade soup, etc.
My one dear child for years refuses to have any fresh food for lunch including fruit, dairy and vegetables. It does not make any rational sense. However, the combination of the noise, other kids "smelly" meals, and distractions during lunch is enough to put any child into overload let alone a child that has difficulty filtering all the unnecessary noise, smells and social interactions.
So much food, money, emotional weariness and time has been wasted.....we have tried everything from lists of acceptable foods (this changes), ice packs, special lunch containers etc. Our lunches consist of mostly packaged processed products from granola bars, to fruit bars to crackers and leftovers.
Here are a few of our tips to handle this lunch battle:
1. Let it Go. You are your own worst enemy. Let the guilt subside. Your child will get what they need. If you do not have time to make homemade nut free granola use a store bought granola bar. They still can be well adjusted adults.
2. Involve the Kids. No longer am I accepting complaints about not enough food, starving etc. The kids review the lunch to make sure they have enough, will make their own lunch, add to the grocery list and bake. This holds them accountable for whats in their lunch and to bring it home if it does not work for them that day.
3.Load them up @ breakfast - healthy hot breakfast full of protein or protein fruit shake that makes everyone feel well cared for and good start to the day.
4. Professional Help. We actually went to our pediatrician to find out what we should do because basically I was freaking out that my child did not each much during the day. Tricky for concentration and mood during school. She relieved my concern and talked to my child directly. The child will get what they need. All of their fruit and veggie servings are out of the school day breakfast snacks and dinner.
5. May not be a phase. Many children and their anxieties go through phases - this phase has lasted for over 8 years. It continues even into high school. However, I notice now she is more aware of putting healthy fresh food into her body. Yahoo!
6. Coming Home. I know this does not work for everyone. I work from home so my daughter and I worked out that she could come home 2 days a week. This just took the pressure off. She could come home, relax and be refreshed to start the afternoon well.
Goodluck over the next year with the lunch journey!
Now the next thing is not to forget it at the front door or in the car. Check and Check!