Years ago when I ran my own preschool, some kids stayed for lunch. When I first opened we were tiny, half a dozen children for 2 or 3 mornings a week, but they were allowed to bring a packed lunch and eat before leaving. Lunch time was incredibly popular. Over the years as the school grew, we had children there every morning and every afternoon, but not all day (with just one or two exceptions). As we got busier, lunch times got more fraught for the teachers, including myself.
One of the absolute worst things children brought for lunch were gogurts. You know – those tubes of yogurt. They were impossible for children to open – it required a teacher with scissors and a gentle grip to cut the top off. Can you guess what often happened next? Yup, you hand the gogurt to the child who immediately squeezed yogurt everywhere.
It took me a little while, but we banned gogurts from packed lunches. What an improvement!!!
Our lunch times rules were:
- take everything (except the cold pack) out of your lunchbox and set it on the table in front of you
- put your lunchbox on the floor under your seat
- eat (we did not police what they ate, the order they ate or even require they eat)
- pack up EVERYTHING back in your lunchbox – parents need to see what the child did or did not eat
- if you finish lunch early, read quietly until your parent arrives
Perhaps these ideas might be helpful!