Usually every time my children go back to school, I feel a rush of enthusiasm in regards to making some improvements around my childrens lunch boxes.
This spark of enthusiasm normally requires some hunting & collecting time of recipes & any other forms of inspirational lunch box ideas.
Either searching the web high & low or pestering fellow mothers at the bus stop for some refreshing insights into their childrens food intake, has become part of my daily routine by now.
I always feel great and empowered by all these newfound insights.
I go for a big shop and buy all these new food groups and fill up our fridge and freezer completely up with these new grocery treasures & ingredients .
For the following next 2-3 weeks I tend to get up bright & early to make sure I will have enough time to prepare these new yummy, delicious & healthy meals, snacks & treats and feeling sooooooo proud of myself that I finally conquered the quest of the lunch box!
My beautiful two boys returning home, after there long day of school and kindy, either complaining about the food I lovingly prepared or not saying anything at all other than Mum, I am hungry. Can you make me some food.
By then of course I know that the lunch boxes are absolutely untouched (except for a few little nipples or treats missing) and I realize that I have failed once again!
This usually results in: Going back to what I know they will eat!
Which is usually quite simple, plain & semi healthy.
BUT IT WORKS!!!!
What can I say?
Lunch boxes as well as mothering has been a massive learning & growing curve for me.
And I am far away from the mother ideal I had, when I was pregnant with my first son.
I always wanted to be this mother who prepares all the meals lovingly in advance, is a fantastic cook, is extremely crafty & innovative, has an answer to every challenge and is able to stay calm and present with my children while there pushing my buttons right over the limits!!
I do have my moments but I am still a work in progress.
And I can see, that even with a simple thing, like filling up a lunchbox, that provides my children with healthy yummy self-made super food, I can feel overwhelmed, frustrated or unhappy at times.
But here is what I did learn:
Understanding how a child works, is an amazing way to see what they need, how they function, what they like to eat and how you can stir them gently into a new direction.
Lets start with my oldest son: Enam, almost 7!
Enam is quite a good eater, not super fussy but he likes what he likes.
Sometimes it took us (my husband & myself) quite some convincing work (bribing with treats or the occasional force-feeding) to get the food into his stomach.
But in general, Enam DOES LIKE healthy food and he tends to go more for healthy treats, like dried bananas & nuts, he likes eating pumpkin soup and he absolutely loves to drink Kombucha (which we starting to make ourselves at home now).
He has a general interest in preparing the food, collecting food from the garden and planting things.
Therefore he has always been a lot easier to cater for.
I still havent managed to get Olives and SUSHI into him but I am feeling pretty confident that the day will come, when he does open up to these foods too.
My second son Knoa, 4 years, is a totally different person all together.
The only things he always loved eating were:
He is my toughest case. In regards to lunch boxes, as you can imagine.
That was it for quite a long time.
Now, with 4 years he is slowly opening up (yeahh) to carrots, broccoli, noodles, tofu, chicken, apples, bananas, potatoes, ham, Bolognese & pumpkin soup!!!
I can see that it takes a long time for him to open up to a new foods, or food groups.
But once it is established, it is a solid addition to his diet.
Our youngest is more of a snacker rather than eating a whole meal 3x a day.
Knoa also loves junk food and everything sweet.
He seemed to have a natural tendency to go for the fatty side of life.
For me it has become more about slowly establishing and introducing new healthy foods,
proper meals & snacks that he will keep asking for.
Rewards unfortunately are still part of it:
If youll eat up your lunch, you can have a little treat.
The good knows is, there are a lot of healthy treats out there these days, like Multi-Vitamins in the form of? gummy? bears, Stevia sweetened chocolate, lollies & ice cream made from fruit juice, etc.
As you can see, I do love eating healthy & organic food and I would love for my boys to share this passion.
Unfortunately my children are a bit differently wired and therefore I need to have patients and adapt to there rhythm & speed and observe them in there development to see when they
are ready for some new food and lunch box additions.
And above all, being gentle with myself if I havent lived up the my Super Mum Ideal!
A great way to do that is sleeping together with your newborn baby as it has some excellent practical benefits, but there are some important aspects to consider and watch out for.
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