Change is in the air. In some parts of the country, the cooler mornings are a sure sign that autumn is on its way. With rising food costs, apparently there are parents who are changing their spending and lunch packing habits as well, looking to economize where they can.
I just read this article released just this afternoon about how more parents are jumping on the economizing bandwagon. One of the first items to go? Prepackaged snacks, especially 100-calorie snacks! The article mentioned that a grocery store is making suggestions for budget-friendly lunch items and outlining the cost per serving.
According to Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst at Mintel International, "It's a good time to teach economics, nutrition and budgeting. It could become a major focus in parent-child relations, making lunches." I couldn't agree more.
I am excited for the school year to begin in just a few days. My daughter is starting kindergarten and will have a healthy snack sent to school with her each day, much like last school year. My son will be in third grade and will be bringing his lunch to school at least four out of five days a week. We will continue to allow him to buy his lunch one day a week if he wants.
I am also starting a new job tomorrow, which means I will be packing something healthy for breakfast and lunch outside the home. Breakfast will have to be something fast and easy to eat in the car during my morning commute. Lunch will likely be the same as my job entails being out of the office and having a quick bite between appointments, often in the car, sometimes at my desk. It's crazy, I know, but that's my life for the moment. I have resolved to make sure that I have something more inventive than a Clif bar and water, which is my standby. Additionally, both kids will be in after school activities and after care, so I will be packing snacks for them for those days as well.
I'm looking forward to making lots fun, healthy, interesting, and cost-effective lunches this school year. With my job changing, both kids will have to get more involved with helping make their own lunches this year than in the past. They want to get involved and help so this will be their opportunity.