Issues finding school lunch ideas for my slow eater.

@sissy15 (5762)
United States
January 9, 2017 5:51am CST
I've been scouring the internet to find school lunch ideas that my son might eat and not waste. He rarely eats at school, they get 20 minutes to eat and my son is a notoriously slow eater in the first place. I get tired of him coming home with a lunch that is no longer any good, because thermoses and ice packs only work so well. He'll want to eat his lunch when he gets home, but can't. He is tired of sandwiches, and I can't say I blame him. I am thinking of something he can snack on. I'm going to try a home made lunchable, since he loves pepperoni, cheese, and crackers. He hates pizza, but will eat most of the toppings, and he might be able to eat most of those things in the time they give him. If he doesn't eat them, I won't pack them again. My son is a semi picky eater, but will eat most things most other kids won't go near. We sometimes send him with a veggie tray, but half of it gets wasted because he can't eat the whole thing in the time they give him. I do know he eats breakfast at school, because they allow the kids to take their breakfasts to their classroom and eat it, but they can't really do that with lunch because they have recess right after. My son is a talker so I don't think that helps. My kid can eat a lot, but sometimes it takes him awhile to do it. He's been coming home and acting like he's starving. He normally just eats what the school has, except on Wednesdays, because that's pizza day. His school has free breakfast and lunch for the entire school, so I normally don't worry about it. I've seen my child eat a full sized hamburger with everything but tomato and mayo. He eats a lot of vegetables. He eats broccoli, peas, cauliflower, carrots, celery, onion, lettuce, corn, potatoes, and a few I can't think of off hand. He also eats a lot of fruits but won't touch any form of melon or pineapple. He eats most berries, grapes, bananas, and peaches. We try to pack him semi well balanced meals, but unfortunately I can't do that for his lunch, because he won't eat it all. I try to pack him things he can eat at home later. We are busy people so we seldom go home directly after we pick him up. I'm going to try and do my grocery shopping today after I drop him off at school. Anyone else have a difficult time with their kids eating their lunches at school? I know most of this stems from him not having enough time to eat. He is only in kindergarten, and it seems insane that they don't give the smaller kids more time to eat. We usually try to have dinner based around things we know he'll eat, or sometimes things he won't. We don't force him to eat something if he doesn't like it, but he needs to try it. We usually make enough other things that if he doesn't want to eat the main food he doesn't have to. He eats things like meatloaf, spaghetti, chili, almost any kind of chicken, salad, tacos, most kinds of pasta, hamburgers, hot dogs, he isn't a fan of most casseroles, but he actually likes most of his foods mixed together, he doesn't care for most sandwiches other than PB&J, everyone tells me he'll eat a ham sandwich for them, but he won't for me, even if I refuse to give him anything else, he'll refuse and go hungry. I'm actually pretty fortunate that I don't have to second guess everything I make, because he'll usually eat it, he isn't a big fan of new sauces though, especially savory sauces. My kid loves pork n beans and mashed potatoes. He'll eat most meat except for fish, but I'm not a sea food eater, so that's partly my fault, because I don't care for it, but I have eaten it in his presence to let him know that sometimes we all have to at least try things we don't like. My kid also loves rice, we usually make sweet n sour chicken for him, and we found out recently he likes egg rolls. We oven bake them. My kid eats a lot, sometimes more than both my boyfriend and I, but he also runs it all off. He's super active, and he is actually under weight for his height, but not enough that we're concerned, his doctor told us that he's just going to be tall and skinny. Regardless I still try to find things for my son to eat, especially school lunch ideas. Anyone have any decent recipes that their kids love? Also anyone have any good school lunch ideas for a kid that doesn't have a lot of time to eat? Snack type ideas are great, as they're easier for him to eat with limited time.
3 people like this
5 responses
@celticeagle (121030)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Jan 17
Can you send him with a lunch? If he is slowing eater perhaps you could cut the sandwich up into bites and do some things like that that they won't do for him there at the school.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
10 Jan 17
I only pack him lunch on Wednesdays, because he gets free lunch, and on Wednesday they only serve pizza or PBJ and he's tired of peanut butter, and won't touch pizza. He keeps coming home with some of his lunch. They give PBJ, carrots, and apples in a bag as a third option, and he always brings those lunches home, I get tired of going through his backpack and throwing out carrots. I just hate spending money for him to eat lunch, when he gets it for free there. I mean that's money that can go towards other things.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121030)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Jan 17
@sissy15 ......Then you need to train him to eat what they serve. He needs to get over being a picky eater or go without lunch.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
11 Jan 17
@celticeagle The problem isn't really that he's a big picky eater, it's that he has 20 minutes to eat it in. There are only a few foods he actually hates. He loves apples and carrots, but he doesn't have enough time to eat them. I'm trying to think of foods I can pack on pizza day that won't take him forever to eat. He isn't all that picky. He eats a lot of different foods. He eats broccoli, peas, carrots, cauliflower, celery, most meats, pasta, most fruits except melon and pineapple...I mean he has a pretty broad list of foods he'll eat. I am just trying to think of things that won't take a really long time for him to eat. He also gets tired of the same foods.
2 people like this
@atoz1to10 (6817)
• Australia
9 Jan 17
As I often see children throwing their lunches/snacks in the bins therefore I don't force my son into finishing his lunch or whatever he takes to school. I make sure he has a big breakfast every day and whatever he can eat at school, he eat, the rest bring home so I can check. Sometimes teachers ask the children to bring lunch outside to eat and you know what they are like, they will throw it out and spend time playing with their friends. Hope my idea can help in some way.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
9 Jan 17
I don't force my son to eat his food either, I just wish he'd eat more than the little he does. He eats breakfast at school, so I really don't know what he eats there. His breakfasts are free there, so I can't see putting the money into him eating at home when he eats for free at school, the entire school gets free breakfast and lunch. I know my son eats really well at dinner usually. I don't let him snack too much between lunch and dinner, because otherwise he has trouble eating dinner. If he packs I'll sometimes finish what's left of his lunch at home if it hasn't gone bad. I tell him to eat whatever is cold or hot first before snacking, but I have to wonder if he'd eat if I remove the snacks from his bag, but I'm afraid to remove them because then he may not eat anything. It's difficult to say with him.
1 person likes this
@atoz1to10 (6817)
• Australia
9 Jan 17
@sissy15 I understand the feeling. As long as you know he does eat something and he is healthy then nothing to worry about. You can always make sure he has a big dinner when he gets home. That's what I am doing with my son.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
10 Jan 17
@atoz1to10 Yeah, that's basically what we do. We usually have bigger dinners, because that's when he eats the most. Mornings he'll eat, but he's not usually super hungry first thing in the morning, but neither a I. I don't eat much for breakfast if at all, because I'm not hungry. I think my son is the same way. He seems healthy and happy, and that's what matters. He is skinny, but he can eat quite a bit, so I know he's not starving.
1 person likes this
@Jam4321 (581)
• Jamaica
9 Jan 17
Well if he likes juice, I guess you could add a bottle of a multi-nutrient drink (Example: Ensure). They do have enough energy to keep him going because it is actually food in liquid form. You can add other light snack like maybe biscuits or so along with it.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
9 Jan 17
I think I'm going to try snacks and things I know he'll eat like yogurt he almost always eats his yogurt and applesauce when I pack those, and he also will eat almonds when I pack those. I might try things like that. I just wish he could eat an actual meal for lunch, he eats a lot, but it takes him awhile to eat it.
1 person likes this
@Jam4321 (581)
• Jamaica
9 Jan 17
@sissy15 Well since he likes yogurt maybe you can add stuff to it so he will eat more. There are ways of making additions to yogurts like adding different stuff to it (fruits...)
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
9 Jan 17
@Jam4321 Thanks, I never actually thought about that. I could probably add some granola and berries. I'll just have to see.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (141451)
• Bunbury, Australia
9 Jan 17
20 minutes doesn't seem very long for a child to have for lunch. I wonder if this is the norm?
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
9 Jan 17
It can be. I remember when I was in junior high we had maybe 5 minutes to eat at times, because they called us through the lunch line by tables, and it took so long to get through we barely had time to eat. That's where I learned to eat fast, or I wouldn't eat. In elementary school we weren't allowed to go to recess until we finished our lunches or most of it, we had a strict principal that checked our trays and lunchboxes and wouldn't let us go out until we ate. Parents and students hated him. We only had two lunch times then because it was a small school, and they spaced them out. We had at least 45 minutes to eat. My son's school has a lot of students and they try to get them all through. I mean the kindergartners have a lunch time just for them, there's four kindergarten classes.
1 person likes this
@sishy7 (27592)
• Australia
10 Jan 17
Sounds to me he's such a good eater, it's just the 20-minute recess is too short and he probably has things he'd rather do with the time other than just focusing on finishing his lunch...
@sissy15 (5762)
• United States
11 Jan 17
Yeah, that's the problem, but he comes home starved, because he doesn't have enough time to eat. I worry that he'll get hungry in class and not be able to focus as well. I mean it's difficult to pay attention when you're hungry. He is a great eater, but I think he needs food that doesn't take a long time to eat, which is a lot of snack foods unfortunately. Anything with a fork or that takes that extra effort is going to take him longer to eat. I know he can clear a bowl of Spaghettios in like 5 minutes, but he gets tired of them and will eventually not want to eat it. We have tried several things, but he won't eat all of it and it goes to waste.
1 person likes this
@sishy7 (27592)
• Australia
11 Jan 17
@sissy15 I think there are some healthy snacks out there too... Something like muesli or granola bars, maybe?
@sishy7 (27592)
• Australia
11 Jan 17
@sissy15 I hope it works for him...