The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?


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Not really a manifesto, because we’re not militant about anything, not like Ms. Make Your Own Damn Dinner here. (Although we know exactly how she feels and we want her (a) apron and (b) fridge groaning with what we hope is lovely food. )

And that brings us to………………..

  • Tiffin Tin Principle Number 1: It isn’t necessary to be a food purist in order to feed a child well. Good nutrition is a matter of averages and balance. It is okay to eat the occasional Rice Krispie Treat. You can balance that out easily by omitting a sugary drink. And if you’d like, pack a whole wheat banana muffin as a treat next time.
  • Tiffin Tin Principle Number 2: Meals give great pleasure (and thus are most likely to be eaten) by those who choose and prepare them. This simply means that, to the extent you can, you should try to involve your child in the making of the lunch. Sometimes, there’s not time — so how about having them help you shop for the fruits or veggies that go in the lunch? Or help you write up a lunch menu for the week?
  • Tiffin Tin Principle Number 3: Pack less rather than more. Children eat more when they are confronted by portion sizes that are considerably smaller than those adults are used to. Your child will not starve. Look at the lunchbox when it comes home, see if everything was eaten. Watch how your child eats their snack upon returning home, or dinner when you get back from work. And if they were hungry, they will tell you when they help make their lunch the next day.
  • Tiffin Tin Principle Number 4: If you can, it’s good to use re-usable containers. You’ll see a lot of them on this site because I like this sort of thing. In the long run they’re cheaper than plastic and better for the earth. If you’re not that sort of person, there’s no reason you have to make this particular choice. Doing good things for the earth is, like good nutrition, a matter of balance and averages. Do your best, and then forget about it.
  • Tiffin Tin Principle Number 5: Make sure your child knows how to work their lunch. It’s more distressing than you might realize when a child gets to lunch and finds they cannot open a thermos.  Or finds something in their lunch that might be whipped cream or might be ranch dressing, and they can’t tell the difference. You should also make sure your child knows how to open the containers you put in their lunchbox. And you might want to tell your child when you’ve put something delicious in their lunch to surprise them (when you do that, anyway).  It’ll give them something nice to think about while they’re memorizing times tables.

Written by bloglily

August 30, 2006 at 5:06 pm

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