Thank you Mardi Gras Napkins for sponsoring this post. Visit your local retailer to get the conversation going in your home!
It was the first year in which both kids were in public school, and in the same one at that! It was a year of immense growth, both for Scarlet in 3rd grade – zipping through 500 page books and learning about kindness and cooperation – and for Des – learning how to read and share space. I learned how to pack two lunches, two backpacks, two water bottles, and two sets of school paperwork and permissions slips and library books. For the longest time, I couldn’t wrap my head around it ending so abruptly. Didn’t the year just begin? For every day of that school year, I walked both kids to their class lines. I remember holiday break and then the 100th day of school and then spring break and to be honest – I thought we had more time.
With summer, comes all sorts of learning. We have camp schedules and both small and large road trips, day trips, weekend trips, birthday trips. We signed up for the library’s summer reading program and raffle and we’re also focusing on learning to swim, ride bikes, and stay active. Also, there’s taking care of the two dogs, one cat, 10 chickens, and acres of garden.
No doubt about it, though, by late July we are already focusing on back to school. It’s inevitable and also exciting. After the heat and haze of summer, the promise of freshness and routine is exciting every time. Even if you’re not a student anymore! We are probably perpetual school kids somewhere in our hearts, and if you happen to be a parent, a teacher, or both, the start of a school year carries a lot of weight. One of the best ways to prep for the new school year is with school lunch.
Here are five ways that I have incorporated education into my school and summer lunches with the kids – pretty much since they were toddlers. As a corporate worker, we had lunch and learns. This is similar to me. Learning through lunching. Lunching through learning. It carries powerful lessons for our kids. Here are 5 Ways School Lunch Can Be Educational:
1 – Where food comes from. For us, it’s about gardening because mainly that’s where it starts! There are fruits and vegetables and our chickens. It’s largely about the process and the patience. My kids are more likely to eat food when they know where it came from, and they get pretty excited if they had ANY hand in it. Our school has a garden the kids use.
2 – Hygiene. We learn about washing hands before and after eating, and also about not sharing food because of potential allergens and germs. That’s a #1 rule in our school cafeteria and snacktime – no sharing!
3 – Gratitude. My kids are a bit young to know much about the world around them, but I want them to always know how lucky they are to have an abundance of food around them. Water to drink and fresh food that doesn’t run out.
4 – Nutrition. This is learning about food groups and/or balance and about how different types of food serve different purposes and feed different parts of our bodies, and at different times of the day.
5 – Conversation skills. Oh, how precious this is. That’s why it’s so nice to “do lunch” with a friend. As kids we are first learning the balance of talking, listening and eating. That’s why I love Mardi Gras Napkins’ conversation starters. They help my little ones get ready for the upcoming school year, and they are such fun! Mardi Gras napkins help get the conversation started with these fun, new conversation starters. You can spark a classroom or lunchroom conversation with fun, printed napkins featuring clever conversation starters. And it’s a great way to get those lunch boxes back-to-school ready. I love that it’s time to wipe away the boredom and bring fun back to the (lunch) and dinner table with Mardi Gras paper napkins! And I can’t help but love that igniting spontaneous and unexpected family conversation is a cinch with these super-cool illustrated prints, featuring clever conversation starters.
Have you ever gone to a lunch and learn at work? Did you learn during it?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.