As my daughter was in half-day morning Kindergarten, and came home to me for lunch nearly every day, the start of first grade marks the first time she'll be eating lunch every day at school. We've spent lots of time discussing the sorts of food she'll want in her lunch, how we'll be packaging it sustainably and largely waste-free and how she needs to be sure to eat (and not just talk) during the first part of lunch so that she can play with her friends once they allow them up from their tables. We've already picked out and arranged with a friend who was in afternoon Kindergarten last year to meet up with her on the first day and show her the ropes. She's more than prepared!
So to add a little fun and surprise to her lunch, along with the agreed upon PB&J, carrots, apple slices and graham crackers, I'm also throwing in a little love. Lunch love notes are a sweet way to remind your child that you are thinking about them during their school day. My daughter's first-day note is just a simple, "You're a great kid! Have a great first day!!"
Notes can be handwritten (consider buying a special pad of paper you keep by the lunchbox your child will like if you go this route), or created by computer. I'm going the computer route – I found some cute clipart, and using a business card layout, each day has a different little picture and a note from us. Notes can be generic or even mention upcoming weekend activities, holidays or special school events.
For those kids who buy lunch at school, love notes can be wrapped up with their lunch money, or placed in a special place in a backpack. Whatever you write and wherever they receive it, avoid the temptation to make notes a reminder of tasks to do (remember to bring home your sweatshirt) or rules (eat your sandwich before your dessert). School can be stressful enough, and love notes are just a pure expression of your love for them to brighten up their day. Even kids who may roll their eyes and act like they're too cool for such things will still get the message that your love is with them even when you are not. And my suspicion is that they will remember this sentiment as they get too old for the actual notes – the reason I am driven to do this for my daughter is because my mom did it for me and my brother and sister. If you are like me and likely to drop writing the notes under the daily pressure of getting your child(ren) out the door each day, do a few weeks of notes in advance and have them sitting near where you pack your lunches.
Lunch love notes are an easy, inexpensive and painless way to say and extra "I love you" to your child each day. Whether a quick handwritten note, or an elaborate insert, adding love to lunch may be just the perfect nutrition your young child needs.