Parent tips: Feel-good exam lunch boxes
Extra-special feel-good exam lunch boxesWhen my girls write their exams, I always prepare them an extra-special lunch box. Considering that they make their own lunches for the rest of the term, this is always a treat for them and they now consider it an exam tradition.
An exam lunch box covers all these options. In my girls’ schools they usually write two exams a day, so I take that into consideration as well.
I tend to steer clear of full-size sandwiches and heavy food. Everything is bite size and nutritious. It’s colourful and sometimes even a little fun. I want the lunch box to make them feel better after an exam and to remind them that mom is thinking of them.
I prepare the boxes the night before, to give me enough time to fuss and to avoid the usual morning rush. Thankfully my children aren’t too fussy. The idea is to do something different from the rest of the term.
I wrap everything in cling wrap or purchase cheap Jiffy bags from my plastics shop. Nothing worse than having everything squished together. Just remind younger kids to avoid littering and to rather bring the plastic home if they can’t find a bin.
Items in my exam time lunchbox
- Fruit: Pre peeled naartjies/ pineapple slices/ melon slices/ dried fruit slices, any fruit they will enjoy. The natural sugar will compensate for when their adrenalin levels drop after exams.
- Carbs: Bite-size sandwiches with their favourite spread or filling. I use my cookie cutters to cut them into different shapes. Other options are mini pita pockets filled with a protein, a bran muffin, crackers or a small bag of popcorn.
- Vegetables: Use a kebab (sosatie) stick and add cucumber, baby tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, baby corn and so on. This looks so pretty. You can add a dip in a small plastic container with a lid.
- Protein: Sliced biltong, rolled up ham, chicken drumstick, chicken kebab, boiled egg, mini meatballs, sliced sausages on toothpicks
- Fats and oils: Nuts are an excellent source of B vitamins and all the fat soluble vitamins, as well as an excellent source of protein. Try walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds or pecan nuts. Toss in a few dried cranberries for some sweetness.
- Dairy: Cheddar cheese or yoghurt, and occasionally a chocolate milk which is a great source of protein (I didn’t believe it either – but scientifically it has the best ratio of fats and proteins).
- Just because I want to: Small role of Super C, small piece of dark chocolate, marshmallows, soft fruit gums or any other small treat your child will love.
- Hot drink: On the cold days they get a small flask with tea or hot chocolate. Remember that water is still important even during winter.
Needless to say the lunchboxes are always empty when they get home and they love that their friends are always in awe of what they have for lunch.