If your child attends a daycare that requires you to send lunch along with your child each day, you might be unsure of what you should pack. After all, it might seem easy to whip up a simple yet healthy and tasty lunch for your toddler or small child when he or she is at home, but coming up with ideas to pack can be tough. Luckily, if you think about these three things when you're packing these lunches, you're sure to make the right choice every day.
1. Consider Your Child's Preferences
The truth is that it really is smart to consider your child's preferences when packing daycare lunches. Pack healthy finger foods that your child loves to eat to help ensure that he or she actually eats lunch rather than throwing it away. If you normally have to beg your child to eat certain foods, such as certain fruits or vegetables, you should know that your child might not eat them at daycare, when you aren't there. Think of things that are healthy but that your child should eat without much encouragement for best results.
2. Think About a Lack of Refrigeration and Reheating Options
Some daycares have ample refrigerator space to store children's lunches and don't mind heating up their food in the microwave each day. However, other daycares are simply limited when it comes to these things. Unless someone from your child's daycare tells you otherwise, it's best to assume that your child's food will not be refrigerated or reheated each day. This is why it's important to use ice packs and insulated lunch boxes for foods that need to be kept cold and to serve foods that taste great cold or at room temperature rather than those that need to be put in the microwave.
3. Think About Allergies
Kids have been trading lunches and snacks for years, and this is probably nothing new at your child's daycare, either. Just make sure that you are aware of any allergies that other kids in the class have—you can generally ask the teacher to get a list of no-no's—so that you don't send your child along with something that could make another child seriously ill.
As you can see, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when packing daycare lunches for your child. If you remember these three things, it shouldn't be hard to come up with great ideas.