Week 36: Nutrition Lessons with a Lunch Packing Checklist

I really love all of those hidden ways there are to teach my kids something when they don’t even know they’re learning. Finding learning opportunities in everyday things is a big part of why I created The Trip Clip.

Week 36: Nutrition Lessons with a Lunch Packing Checklist

Having kids participate in packing their own lunch offers some great life skills lessons. But it can also be great for teaching nutrition!

Teach your child to pack a healthy lunch all by themselves! This easy to use drag and drop tool lets you make a custom Lunch Box Checklist that matches your child’s tastes and your refrigerator’s contents.

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We talk about a lot about healthy eating at our house, and I thought my kids had a pretty good handle on what foods are nutritious and why.  But when we started using a lunch packing checklist, here are a few of the beliefs we had to correct:

  • Strawberries are vegetables
  • Whole wheat bread was a vegetable (because it’s made out of wheat, a plant, right?)
  • Really, any food they didn’t like must be a vegetable
  • Bananas contain protein
  • Avocados contain protein
  • A bagel with cream cheese is a main meal, so it counts as a protein

Seeing is Believing

We found that when our kids could see the food categories on their printed Lunch Box Checklist, it made a big difference for them understanding and remembering what foods belong in each category:

Can your kids identify all their fruits and vegetables! Try a lunch packing checklist to help them learn.

Idea Generation

We also found that creating each child’s individual list helped them identify foods they did like in each category. One of my kids would gladly pack only fruit and starches in his lunch if we let him. Surprisingly, protein was the category we struggled with the most.  He doesn’t like deli meat sandwiches and hates peanut butter, which tended to be our go to suggestions. So we looked at all the protein options on the lunch box checklist website, and he was surprised to find a large number of proteins he really likes (here is the list he created himself):

Great proteins for a school lunch!

Doubling Up on Nutrition

These lists also prompted some good conversations about food that can double up in multiple categories. My son loves to take edamame because it covers both protein and vegetables, and he uses this fact to squeeze in an extra fruit or starch. We like that he’s learning about foods that have even more bang for their buck.

Other Resources

There are tons of good resources out there for helping kids learn about nutrition. Here are a few you might want to check out (click on the pictures below to jump to the website):

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Click here for great nutrition resources your family can use

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About thetripclip

Helping busy parents manage lives on the go - Learn, Entertain, Organize
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