I’ve had quite a few people ask why Packed targets pre-school to Grade 3. The short answer is because I’m a glutton for punishment. Just kidding (sort of). I’m passionate about this age group for a few reasons.
1. get them before it's too late!
Pre-school to Grade 3 is a critical age for establishing healthy eating habits. What our kids get used to in their early years will stick. It’s much easier to set out with a healthy whole food diet than to try to remedy a heavily processed junk-filled diet in an older child with a lot more opinions. And pocket money.
2. I feel sorry for the parents
This is an exhausting age. Kids in this age group are heavily dependent upon their parents to do things for them – from dressing, to toileting, lying with them to get to sleep, learning to read, and the rest. Often parents are juggling multiple highly dependent children and preparing whole food lunchboxes would be nice, but realistically it is often pretty low down the priority list. Convenience food companies are very aware of this and have created plenty of packaged ‘lunchbox friendly’ options for the time poor mum. Unfortunately these convenience options are often high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, and low in nutritional value. This makes them both addictive and not particularly nourishing. When we’re tired, we probably don’t feel like preparing lunchbox vegetables that don’t often get eaten, which might explain why only 12% of Australian primary school lunchboxes contain any vegetables <insert gasp>. But here’s the thing. If you stop offering vegetables…
- Your child thinks it’s acceptable not to eat vegetables.
- Your child is starved of the opportunity to eat vegetables in the lunchbox.
- Finally, if you haven’t packed in a serve or two of vegetables before dinner, you are really going to struggle to hit the five serves a day that nutritionists recommend.
At a practical level, the quantity of food required for children above Grade 3 will exceed the contents of Packed’s standard lunchbox. Even as children get to Grade 1 and 2, you may find they need an extra piece of fruit, some popcorn or some yoghurt to complement their Packed lunchbox.
Packed is the whole food convenience lunch box option – giving parents a day or two off each week, without compromising on quality and nutrition. Let us wear the time burden, the emotional burden and the nutritional burden for you now and again.
We’re passionate about healthy eating at all ages, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
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