One mom shared why she suggests other parents should pull out the lunch box and practice school lunch at home to get upcoming kindergartners ready for a big transition.

By Kristi Pahr
August 14, 2019
Adobe Stock

The end of summer is looming and kids (and parents!) everywhere are prepping for their first day of school. With all the hustle and bustle around the beginning of the school year, especially for upcoming kindergartners, it's easy to overlook a few things here and there. While parents try their best to cover all the bases and ensure their kids have everything they need some of the things teachers appreciate the most don't even cross our radar.

One mom on Facebook pointed out one of those frequently overlooked things in her recent viral post about kindergarten lunches. "PSA for all soon-to-be kindergarten mamas...Practice eating 'school lunch' with your kiddo," Julie New Harbaugh wrote. In what was a lightbulb moment for parents across Facebook, Harbaugh explained that the transition from eating a leisurely lunch at home would be a far cry from lunch in kindy, and many kids aren't prepared for the change.

"Make sure they can open everything you send with them. Talk about not eating off of the table in the lunchroom!!! Set a timer for 15 minutes and talk about how they may not finish eating and that's ok. (This was HARD for little man.)," she shared. "Practice packing everything back up and talk about what is trash and what should come back home in their lunch box. Kindergarten lunch is a big adjustment and your child's teacher will be super appreciative if you have prepared them for the experience!"

Kindergarten teachers and teacher's assistants rejoiced in the comment section. "Yesss 100 percent, every parent should do this. Working at a school, the lunch and snack time are one of the hardest times for kindergarten and even 1st grade especially," read one comment. "If you let your kid roam while eating or take as long as they want to eat, there are so many tears when they don't understand why they can't finish."

School lunch periods are often shockingly brief for kids used to lengthy mealtimes at home. Lunchtime can be as short as 15 or 20 minutes, so parents should try to explain that if kids can't finish their food, they can bring it home as leftovers to have as an after-school snack or reuse the next day.

Another reply read, "This is great advice. I am a school office lady but started out as an aide. When you are trying to help 60 kids open packages while making sure they are all behaving themselves, we can miss an accidental tossing of reusable containers. Trust me when I tell you, the adults will be very appreciative of you taking the time to teach your kids how to open their own lunch."

If you're being green and packing reusable containers in your child's lunch (you go, eco-parent!), walk them through the push and pull of opening lids. It'll save valuable eating time and make your child feel independent.

The early days of kindergarten can be so stressful for kids, with new routines, new teachers, and a big new school, taking the time out to help them ease into a new lunch routine can make all the difference in the world, to them and their teachers.

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