Last month we had the pleasure of hosting a foreign exchange student from Chengdu, China. During her visit she attended classes at a nearby college and I needed to pack her lunch. This was the first time in six years I had the opportunity to pack a lunch and I wanted to make sure it was memorable for her; I did all that I could to make each meal fun, with new foods each day (some she had never tried before.)
Near the end of our visit I started to realize that I was using each meal as a fun learning experience for her. She was trying new foods, I was leaving her notes in English she needed to translate…. do we do this with our own kids?
I want to challenge our MDR readers to pack fun and educational lunches for their kids this year. Your child may not remember that PBJ sandwich, but they will remember learning to use chopsticks, your loving notes that sent them on fun quests for knowledge, and how much LOVE and EFFORT you placed inside that box everyday! Here’s two ideas to get your started:
Birthday Cupcake Toppers! You see a birthday party cake topper, and I see an opportunity to add FUN to your child’s school lunch (with a safe, non sharp kabob solution). These Frozen Cupcake Toppers hold two-three small fruits for a mini handheld fruit kabobs. You could also use them for vegetables, meat, or cheese too!
My son has ASD and has been participating in OT since he was two. After spending so much time watching him and his OT work together I have started to look at everything as a learning tool. Chopsticks is one of those things that I see as a great EDUCATIONAL tool. They are great for dexterity and hand/eye coordination. If your child is struggling with handwriting, chopsticks can assists with pre-handwriting skills, finger isolation, manipulation and grasp. AND anyone can use them to improve fine and visual motor skills, and strengthen their hands. Combine all of these benefits with the opportunity for cultural development, and I see chopsticks as THE tool to place in your child’s lunchbox.
More benefits to placing chopsticks in your child’s lunchbox:
- Chopsticks are cheap! Amazon has a package with 100 chopsticks for less than $8! Find them HERE.
- Chopsticks are green! I’m not sure there is a greater renewable resource than bamboo!
- Chopsticks are FUN!
Kids love using chopsticks because they are fun to use! Encourage your kids to have a weekly lunchtime competition with their lunch table by packing a bowl of mini marshmallows in their lunch every Friday!
What FUN and EDUCATIONAL ideas
do you have for your child’s lunchbox?
The beautiful lunchbox shown in this post is a PlanetBox Rover Lunchbox. We have used it for several weeks now and the kids really love it. Find the PlanetBox lunchbox HERE.