3 Ways To Create A More Sustainable Lunch For Your Child For Day Care

Many child care centers require parents to pack lunches and snacks for their children. This ensures your child has food that they like, enjoy and fits their dietary restrictions throughout the day. As you pack your child's lunch and snacks for daycare, make sure you are making sustainable choices. Children's lunches can generate around sixty-seven pounds of waste each year if you don't make sustainable choices.

#1 Leave Out Individually Packaged Foods

Do not put individually packaged foods in your child's day care lunch. To start with, individually packaged foods, such as small packages of carrots or peanuts, create additional waste. Additionally, it requires a day care teacher to assist your child with their snack and adds additional time to lunch and snack time. Food that is not individually packaged will be easier for your toddler to open and eat on their own, without needing further assistance with their lunch.

#2 Use Reusable Containers

When you package your child's food for daycare, make sure you are using reusable containers. Purchase a nice lunchbox for your child that will keep their food insulated and at the correct temperature. Purchase reusable containers that specifically fit inside of your child's lunch box. Use these containers for their food each day.

Using reusable containers is a simple way to cut down on waste for your child's lunch. It will also cut down on the waste that the daycare has to deal with from meal time. They can simply put your child's reusable containers back in their bag and send them home at the end of the day.

#3 Pack Whole Foods

Stick to real, whole foods for your child's lunch. Pack your child cut-up fruits and vegetables for their lunch. Provide them with natural dips such as salsa and hummus for their food. Send them with sandwiches or with other leftovers that your family enjoys at home, such as teriyaki chicken. Add a small salad to your child's lunch.

Do not fall for the idea that you need to send your child to school with special treats for children, such as fruit snacks, goldfish and other treats that are marketed to children. Your child can eat and enjoy the same whole foods that the adults in your family enjoy. The more exposure to whole foods that you provide your child with, the more they will like and enjoy these types of foods.

Finally, be sure to check in with your child's daycare providers about what your child seems to eat and enjoy, and how full your child seems throughout the day. Make adjustments to what you pack for your child's lunch based on their observations of your child's food habits at day care, which could vary from your child's food habits at home with you.