School Lunch Prep :: When a Basic Lunch Will Do

Packing a Lunch for your Selective Eater

My oldest son is a selective eater; he also has food allergies. It’s important he eats a lunch that he will find delicious enough to eat and will replenish his energy. Now that school is starting back, it’s important to choose a lunch menu that works with his palate and can be prepared.

First, I make a list of different things he will actually eat. Our list isn’t that long. I make a list of the main courses that my oldest eats: chicken nuggets, ham sandwiches, spaghetti, red beans and rice, homemade pizza, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He’s pretty consistent when it comes to the sides as well. He eats macaroni and cheese and chips. For the vegetables and fruits, he likes broccoli, avocado slices, barbecue beans, apples, and grapes. For dessert, he likes cookies and cupcakes.
Second, I make a menu. My goal is one main, two sides, and a dessert each day. Each day through the week, I like to choose a different main course, but the sides may not alternate daily. One side should be something green. We all have hopes and dreams for our children; consuming green vegetables is one of mine.

Third, the containers are important. For some entrees, a thermos is needed. The key is to get the food as hot as possible to ensure that it will still be warm for lunch. We use ice packs in an insulated bag to keep cool foods cold.
Fourth, the dessert has to be good. This is the one part of the meal I’m sure he’ll eat. Jack prefers cookies and cupcakes for lunch desserts.
Fifth and last, try to leave something special. It could be a very special note. It could be a picture or a sticker. Even a playful arrangement of the food may give my son a smile. Just a little something to let him know that he’s loved.

Have a great school year and good eating!


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