Hi Bluegrass Friends!
Here are a few tips and budget friendly ideas for packing lunch for littles that promote independence! I'm a teacher/early childhood consultant and a mom of a little guy with cerebral palsy. When my younger son was in preschool 5 years ago I spent months working with an OT trying out millions (not really... but it felt that way) of lunch boxes and containers to find one he could do all by himself. That year I even took an online Montessori class all about teaching children to be more independent by the way you set up your home. Lunches/meals/snacks were one of the components of this course. It literally changed our lives. (If you are a special needs mama, you should check out Maria Montessori's life. She believed that all children could be taught... even those that society at the time had given up on.) There were things I had previously thought Joe would never be able to do, that he could do immediately after I learned to change my approach and materials.
Very little about how I pack his lunch, five years later, has changed. This year he will begin the school year at home with me for distance learning or home school. He has some medical concerns that make this a better choice for him now, but I have already decided I will still be setting up his lunch box similar to how we've always done it. It's a routine that he's proud to be able to do all on his , and I don't want to take that away from him... or have him loose any of these skills.
This video focuses on a few key items:
The Lunch Box
The Food (Not nutrition, just the packaging)
Clean Up (Planning for the mess was one of the best tips from the Montessori)
Packing a lunch or snack that kids can open and navigate not only makes them feel more self reliant, but it's also a great thing to do to help keep other's hands away from their food... so it may make you feel a little safer if your child is returning to in person school this fall. I hope this video helps you out a bit. If you'd like to know more about how we changed our home environment to encourage independence, let me know! I'll be happy to share.
Here are the links for the products I shared today.
*** The prices in the video were accurate as of the time it was recorded, but some were on sale. Please double check the website for accurate pricing info. :)