So, it’s that time of year again – when parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. No more packed lunches to make for at least six whole weeks (unless you’ve got to supply them for holiday clubs, but that’s another story)!
No more breakfast-time realisations that your other half ate the last of the ham from the fridge, leaving you nothing to put in today’s sandwiches….no more screaming fits in the supermarket as you try to get the kids past the latest special offer on lunchbox-sized mini chocolate bars…no more fishing the squished banana out the bottom of their school bag – for a little while, at least!
And no wonder you’re fed up. Making daily packed lunches that can rival healthy school meal menus takes time and effort – we’ve estimated that it’s the equivalent of around eight whole days in a school year. And that’s before you count shopping time! What could you do with eight extra days? My list is endless, and it certainly doesn’t involve racking my brains for what to put in lunchboxes first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
So here’s a bit of food for thought for the holidays. Chances are your school’s sent home a menu for school meals in September. Take a look; see if they’re offering you a chance to go in and try a meal in the first few weeks of term, or if they’ve got any special offers on prices to start the new school year. If so, think about giving them a go – even just for a few days at first.
You might be giving your child a packed lunch because they’re fussy about what they eat. But lots of parents actually tell us that their children try foods in school that they flatly refuse to eat at home and midday supervisors will keep an eye on them – so it’s always worth a go.
Packed lunches may seem to be cheaper than school meals, but healthy lunchboxes cost more than you think once you include the value of your time to shop, prepare and clear up.
Your time is priceless – so if you’re normally a slave to daily packed lunches, enjoy the break!