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Stefanie Tsabar

Should you let your child to pack lunch?


Over the summer, my son has been craving more autonomy with his food choices.

This is a normal part of development even if it comes in the form of whining: “Awwww, I wish you packed me grilled cheese instead of a turkey sandwich!”.

Giving him a few dollars to spend on a snack at the camp store is one way I’ve been giving him some independence.

Another way is letting him make his own lunch. (Yippee!)

While most of us parents view lunch packing as a chore, kids will experience it as a privilege if we use it as a method to authentically empower them.

Here’s what I said to my son (feel free to steal it):

“I know you’ve been wanting to make more of your own choices when it comes to food. So, as a first step, I’m willing to let you make your own lunch.”

He was ecstatic.

I gave him a few guidelines to make sure that it’s balanced and then gave him the freedom to dive in.

To make it even easier for him and other kids to use, I’ve created a Kids’ Lunch Planner PDF that you can download now!

The PDF is blank so that you can fill it in with your child’s own favorites. I recommend packing comforting foods for lunch boxes and saving new foods for family meals.

Here’s an example of one I created for my son.


Download a copy now and try it out! I think you and your child will love it!

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