School Lunch Tips For Special Needs Kids
Should your kids take their lunch to school? Or should they eat the school lunch?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on your child. One thing to consider is that many of our kids are very picky eaters, and if they buy the school lunch they may dump most of it in the trash unless it’s food they really like.
Here are some things to take into consideration when you’re thinking about school lunches:
1. Lunch accounts.
If an older child has a lunch account, you may run the risk of them using it to buy, say, five popsicles, or some french fries, and nothing of any nutritional value. They might even be buying popsicles for all their friends.
By the way, did you know that you can go on the website and see what your child is buying with their lunch account? You can! So make sure, if your kids are older, that you have some control over the process, and you’re not just pouring money into the lunch account.
Younger kids often have a more cafeteria-style option. This is a nice thing to use if your child wants to branch out and try new foods, but you don’t want to sacrifice their nutrition. If they’re not going to eat because they don’t like the food choices, then the cafeteria option is a bad plan.
3. Lunches from home.
If your child is a very picky eater, it may be best that they bring a lunch from home. Here’s our advice: Get a lunch box that they absolutely love, preferably something that they’ve picked out. Then put their preferred foods in there, but pair that with something that’s a middle-grade food, something they don’t love but they don’t hate either.
Go together to shop for lunch. Plan a menu together. Make it a fun process! When you do this, encourage a little variety so that it’s not just the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day. You can do a lot of wonderful fresh foods!
4. Special diets.
If your child has a special diet, such as a gluten-free diet, it’s probably a better idea if you make the lunch. That way you can make it a creative process, which the school really can’t do.
5. Let the school know.
Also, any time you feel that there’s a feeding issue, you can talk to the teacher who monitors lunch, to make sure they’re not just dumping their whole lunch in the trash. You can point that out to the teacher, or send a letter to the school, or have your doctor write something to the effect that the child is a picky eater and we have to be accountable for their nutritional intake.
We hope these tips help you in deciding how to get your child a nutritious lunch at school. We hope you have a great school year!
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