Preparing Your Junior School Children for Back-to-School Lunches
Tanya de Hoog and Parveen Loodu

Many parents agree that one of the best parts of summer break (for us) is not having to worry about packing school lunches. Whether you have that picky eater, slow eater, or even have a good eater, planning and packing healthy lunches that kids actually eat and enjoy through the school-year can be a challenge.

Here are some reminders and tips as we gear up for the new school year.

A little prep goes a long way  

  • Coming up with a lunch plan for the week with your child can help with those times they complain they don’t like what you pack (and remember to change it up a bit)
  • Consider taking your child grocery shopping with you so they can help pick out the fruits, veggies, snacks, and mains they want to eat that week
  • Work with your child to wash, cut, and prepare as many items as possible before the start of the week so they’re ready to go
  • Supply your child with safe, reusable, easy-to-use containers
  • Pack as much as you can the night before to save time in the mornings  

Practicing makes a big difference for our Kindies (tips from Mrs. de Hoog)

  • Practice eating snacks and lunch using a timer and the containers your child will use in their lunch kit
  • Junior School students have about 20 minutes to eat their snack or lunch before recess breaks, so have them learn how to open and close their containers by themselves
  • Consider practicing lunch routines at home before school starts by setting a timer for 20 minutes to see how much they can finish (using their school containers); this way they can practice opening and packing their containers back in their lunch kits by themselves 
  • Talk to your child about their preferred healthy snacks and lunch items - you’d be surprised by how much feedback we get from kids about what they don’t like, even if you think they do like it (they often are afraid to tell you because they don’t want to upset you)
  • Kids who bring home a lot of uneaten food most typically aren’t enjoying what’s been packed for them or find portions too big  

Tried and tested lunch ideas

  • Fruits (Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, berries, pears, etc.)
  • Veggies (Carrots, cucumbers, celery, snap peas, broccoli, etc.)
  • Snacks (Crackers and cheese, granola bars, cold-cuts, dried fruit, yogurt (with coolpack), etc.) 
  • Mains (Sandwiches, wraps, pinwheels, soup, pasta, leftovers, etc.)

Southridge Café 

Southridge is fortunate that we also have lots of fresh, nutritious food offerings through our food services provider, Sage Dining Services, which is a great lunchtime option. 

All new parents (K-12) need to set up a Café account for each child for ease of making purchases in the Café and for ordering Hot Lunch. Payment for food services is done through individual student accounts set up with a pre-paid balance, and drawn down as meals are consumed. For details, visit our Parent Portal (or click here). 

Contributed by Tanya de Hoog, Junior School Principal and Parveen Loodu, Communications and Marketing