Article by b.box for kids Australia
Welcome to everyone’s favourite session of the school day, lunchtime! Take a seat at the table and join us as we dive into a delightful exploration of the diverse world of school lunch eaters.
In this blog, we take a closer look at lunchtime preferences to unveil the unique tastes, habits and culinary quirks that make up a variety of lunchtime personas.
From the big and bold appetites of adventurous eaters to the innovative spirits of DIY lunchers, each eater brings their own distinct flair to the lunch table. We'll uncover the possibilities of salad snackers crunching their way through the day and discover how to deal with the dreaded discontentment of: “Not a sandwich for lunch again, mum!” So, grab your virtual lunchbox, and let's dig in, shall we!
the adventurous eater
Meet the adventurous eater, the lunchtime explorer with taste buds on a journey! This foodie isn't just munching on the usual suspects – they're on a quest for flavour excitement and lunchtime delight.
Adventurous eaters tend to be more open-minded towards new foods and exhibit a curiosity for diverse tastes and textures.
They often come with bigger appetites and, like lots of kids, “eat” with their eyes first! So providing a lunch with wide variety that allows them to touch, taste and explore is ideal.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to strain your brain trying to come up with lunch ideas from around the world and fit them into every single lunchtime, because let’s be honest – that would exhaust even the most creative culinary!
An element of something new, whether it be flavour, colour, fragrance, or texture added to their lunchtime is all that’s needed to excite the adventurous eater about their meal and make it an enjoyable experience.
This could include things like swapping out their fruit for something more tropical or exotic, adding a hint of different herb or spice in their wrap or sandwich, or even sampling a snack they haven’t had before.*
The b.box bento lunchbox is your best friend when it comes to food variety, allowing for delicious discovery in every compartment. Pair it with a snackbox for those adventurous eaters who get a little bit more peckish, and you’re set!
*As always, please exercise caution with food allergies and/or intolerances when it comes to children trying new foods. If packing a school lunch, always abide by school food guidelines.
the hot lunch lover
Spaghetti and meatballs? Pumpkin soup? Chicken noodles? The hot lunch lover will take one of each please! This type of eater gets enthusiastic at the mere thought of diving into a warm, comforting meal at lunchtime.
Whether it's a cold day needing a hot soup embrace or a chilly classroom requiring a warm boost, this child appreciates that a hot lunch can feel like a homemade hug in a container.
Getting fuller by the slurp and spoonful, the hot lunch lover finds a warm meal is the best way to activate and access their energy for the school day – hey if it works, it works! Part of the fun also lies in the anticipation of opening a lid to reveal what treasure trove of flavours they’ll get to dive into that day.
Luckily, we have just the thing for this lunchtime eater!
The b.box insulated lunch jar, fits perfectly in the sandwich compartment of the lunchbox, and keeps food warm for up to 7 hours with triple layer insulating superpowers! With a top and side handle making it super simple for little hands to hold and open, you can pack a hot lunch surprise for them to enjoy, every day.
the picky eater
Now here’s one that might sound a little familiar. So what does a picky eater mean exactly? This is characterised by selective and limited food preferences, often being resistant to trying new foods.
Picky eating is a common behaviour among children and can be influenced by various factors, including taste preferences, texture aversions, and even sensory sensitivities.
A picky eater might express a preference for a limited range of accepted food – such as simple pasta dishes, plain sandwiches, certain types of fruits and vegetables, or even foods of the same colour– with a tendency to stick to a familiar set of "safe" meals.
Parents and caregivers may find the daily lunch prep challenging with a picky eater, trying to find creative ways to introduce new foods and incorporating familiar ingredients into recipes.
It's important to note that patience, encouragement and involving them in meals can play a key role in expanding a child's palate over time.
Like with all types of eaters, ensuring they’re nourished and have enough energy for the school day is a priority. Food equals brain and body fuel, and if you don’t want to overwhelm with options, while still offering them enough to feel full, a mini lunchbox can be a great starting base, making it a little easier, for picky eaters in particular, to navigate through lunchtimes.
the DIY luncher
Without further-ado, introducing the do-it-yourself luncher! One could call them a culinary architect in the making, the DIY luncher is a child who finds joy and empowerment in crafting their own lunchtime masterpieces.
They thrive on the freedom to assemble meals according to their personal taste and preference, embodying a sense of independence and responsibility for their own nutrition –
even if they might not realise it yet!
This eater is often spotted armed with an assortment of ingredients neatly packed in their lunchbox. From a variety of protein-rich fillings like meats and cheeses, to an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, crackers, and dips, they embrace the opportunity to build a meal to be enjoyed.
The DIY luncher loves a bento-style, compartmentalised lunchbox, allowing them to keep ingredients separate until the moment of assembly.
The b.box lunchbox range is absolutely ideal for this type of eater. What’s the only thing that could make it better, you ask? Our silicone snack cups, of course!
Made from food-grade silicone, they can be used in our lunchboxes at full or half height to create more compartments, as a standalone cup-and-lid snack container, and even as a baking mould, straight from oven to lunchbox – yum! The perfect accessory addition for any DIY luncher.
the salad snacker
A fresh and vibrant lunchtime enthusiast, this eater type has a taste for salads as the star of their midday meal. Unlike the stereotypical notion that kids shy away from greens, the salad snacker embraces the crispy, goodness with enthusiasm, munching and crunching their way through the day.
Whilst we love when kids eat (and enjoy!) their veggies, it’s important to ensure that they’re still getting a balanced lunchbox, by adding in fruits, proteins, wholegrains, and dairy.
Fortunately, there’s no rule that says salads have to be veggies only, and there is an abundance of recipes that can take these food groups and transform them into scrumptious salads that will be delightfully devoured, guaranteed.
Pasta, potato, egg, quinoa – the salad list goes on! All the possibilities of a refreshing yet fulfilling mix of colour, texture, and flavour combinations.
The best part? You can now prep it and store it in advance, then when it’s time, grab from the fridge and pack it leak-free in b.box lunch tub, designed to fit perfectly in the sandwich compartment of the lunchbox – how great is that!
the sandwich rebel
Ah, the sandwich rebel, a true classic. There’s nothing worse than opening the lunchbox at the end of the day, seeing the untouched sandwich that has made its way back home, and realising your child has probably not eaten enough to sustain them that day.
It doesn’t matter how many different fillings and combinations are tried and tested, when it comes to the sandwich rebel, if they see a good ol’ sanga, they switch off and are simply not interested.
So how do we overcome this wasteful, and not to mention frustrating situation? By bringing an element of fun and variety into their lunchtime, and our silicone lunch pocket is here to help with that!
Those fillings that went untouched in a sandwich? Try them in a pita pocket, wrap or bagel and see how far they get now! If you’re looking for alternatives to a sandwich but one that can still be eaten similarly by hand, try sushi rolls, sausage rolls or mini pizzas.
Worried about freshness or mess? Don’t be!
The versatile silicone lunch pocket holds everything in place until sandwich rebels are ready to eat! Easy for little hands to open and close, adding a bonus touch of colour to their lunchtimes that’s sure to boost excitement.
the light luncher
Last but certainly not least, let's step into the lovely world of the light luncher. Not all kids have huge appetites for lunchtime, and that’s perfectly fine! What’s most important is making sure that kids are full and have energy for their day of learning and play.
Sometimes that looks a little smaller than your average lunchbox and may include a variety of satisfying snacks or mini meals that combine the nutrition of multiple food groups, without the heaviness of a larger meal.
Whether that’s a dairy and wholegrain-rich granola yoghurt in our mini insulated food jar, or a pick and mix grazing selection from our fan favourite snackbox, the light luncher’s meal is there to sustain, without overwhelming, proving that you don’t need to have a big feast to be full, and good things really can come in small packages!
And with that, we wrap up our deep dive into school lunch eaters on a flavourful note.
We hope the eater personas explored in this blog have shed some light on the most common kids’ eating habits when it comes to school lunchtimes and provided a better appreciation for just how different kids’ appetites can be!
So, here's to the hot lunch lovers, the picky eaters, the light lunchers, and every school lunch eater in between.
And remember that no matter what, you can always unleash the variety of lunchtime fun with b.box – creating a customised lunch combination to suit your child’s appetite and do lunchtimes the way they like them!