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At what age do you think a child can/should begin making their own packed lunch?

(38 Posts)
Earlybird Tue 20-Oct-09 15:47:47

Curious to know what others think....

MummyDoIt Tue 20-Oct-09 15:49:39

Well, my niece is 27, has left home and gets married next year but my sister still makes her packed lunch for her! Personally, I'd aim for a bit younger than that.

Earlybird Tue 20-Oct-09 15:49:57

And I mean making it regularly.....

octavia Tue 20-Oct-09 15:51:37

7 here.He wont eat the school lunches and moaned about my pack lunches so it was make them yourself or starve!

gemlou26 Tue 20-Oct-09 15:51:57

Think of the mess! I'd always do it myself lol

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 15:55:05

They can certainly do it well by age 9. Whether they should be doing it dependz on circumstances, I think.

Fennel Tue 20-Oct-09 16:00:51

It depends whether they want the packed lunch and you really want them to have school dinners, or if it's you pushing the packed lunches. Mine have been capable of making a packed lunch from 7, possibly earlier, my 5yo could do this.
But I only make my 8yo do her own regularly as she wants packed lunches most days and it's a bit boring doing it, the 9 and 5 year olds have them more rarely so I don't make them do their own. 8yo likes doing it though. She can sneak in extra treats.

Earlybird Tue 20-Oct-09 16:09:01

DD is 8.9, and this is a recent addition to her responsibilities. She can choose one day a week to buy her lunch at school.

She whinged mightily this morning, and I wondered if I was being a bit mean or expecting too much.

Takver Tue 20-Oct-09 16:25:15

Can your 8 yo cut bread without trashing the loaf, Fennel? DD has school lunches, so neither of us has to make them - but if she makes a sandwich at home the loaf tends to come out verrrry odd shaped - not sure if this is fair enough for age or if she's being rubbish and I should try & teach her to do better? (ATM I just tend to cut the bread myself, I know this doesn't help her improve, but I get unreasonably annoyed by lopsided loaves, and can't bear to leave her to it).

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 16:27:49

we buy ready sliced

mrshibbins Tue 20-Oct-09 16:28:26

I have tried to get my DD8 to do her own packed lunch - not hard really at all especially as I got all the items out for her and she didn't have to find anything. But she had a hissy over not being able to slice a bread roll in two and it was such a miserable experience and i'm so GRrRRR in the mornings anyway i'm going to try again in 6 months.

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 16:32:35

sliced bread is the answer. Or crackers.

Takver Tue 20-Oct-09 16:35:05

Hmm, can't stand sliced bread (can you tell I'm fussy) - crackers must be the way to go.

MayorNaze Tue 20-Oct-09 16:35:20

i cannot trust dcs to even pour cereal without making a mess so i am the packed lunch queen here. school age dc are 10 and 7 blush

it would just be far too much hassle to have the argument of what they can and can't have, how much of it, clear up after...ggaaaaah i will do it myself!!!!!

and no, i am not soft, i am a hardcore mutha who makes them do all sorts of other jobs instead grin

Northernlurker Tue 20-Oct-09 16:47:33

Mine are 11 and 8 and have been doing it for about 3 years. We never have any debate about what goes in it. They know they have to have a sandwich, roll or cheese and ryvitas and something in the way of fruit. They can add anything else that's in the house.

TrillianSlasher Tue 20-Oct-09 16:50:04

Depends if you trust them to not steal all the nice things from the fridge.

My mum makes packed lunches for my dad and brother every day. I guess she can't refuse to do DB's when she still does Dad's.

Earlybird Tue 20-Oct-09 17:08:42

I buy ready sliced bread, so that is not a problem for dd.

On Sunday I got her to sit down and 'meal plan' her lunch schedule for the week. It has helped her in the mornings as she doesn't have to think about anything or make any decisions - just follows her written 'menu'.

mathanxiety Tue 20-Oct-09 18:17:13

7. She uses sliced bread or breadsticks or small bagels, hates butter, so just cold cuts or chunks of cheese or both. All the DCs sometimes take cold leftovers for lunch occasionally (meatloaf, meatballs, burgers, etc. or cold macaroni cheese). She does it after dinner the night before or while I'm cooking so the whole kitchen can be cleaned at the same time. Lunches are a bit boring but they get eaten. I inspect the bags and eat weed out excessive amounts of choc and sugar later.

shockers Tue 20-Oct-09 18:26:36

Mine are on school lunches but a friend's children have a production line. There are 4 of them. The eldest is 12 and the youngest, 5. It's really lovely watching them teach each other and work as a team. I think my friend must have started it with the eldest and 'retired' when he was able to take the reins.

deaconblue Tue 20-Oct-09 20:34:44

my mum was still making mine when I was doing my A levels blush.

emkana Tue 20-Oct-09 20:36:48

I would feel very mean making my children make their own packed lunch - I'm a SAHM and they have so much to get through (reading, spellings, violin practice...) that I think it's only fair for me to do it.

Northernlurker Tue 20-Oct-09 20:47:15

But Emkana - they will always be busy and so are you - at what point will you stop doing it and make them step up? I have to admit I didn't make a conscious decision to do it this way - dd1 volunteered and seemed competent. When I heard a lovely and wise firend of mine bemoaning the fact that she was still making her 15 year old son's lunch every day I felt very glad I had done that!

You provide the food still - it's not like they have to go and slay their own Baby Bel and raisins - but even very young children can learn to assemble their lunch.

cory Tue 20-Oct-09 21:06:17

Depends on family dynamics, what else they do at home and (as Fennel points out) if you're trying to sell the packed lunches or the school dinners. Dh makes ds's (9) lunch, but that is because he's doing his own anyway, so he might as well. But then ds might be making us all toast- it evens out.

stinkypinky Tue 20-Oct-09 21:11:09

DD is 3, and she helps. She knows what goes in it - sarnie, veg, fruit, drink, frais, and helps prepare each bit (with guidance). DH is 39, but still needs help!

brimfull Tue 20-Oct-09 21:16:24

ds 7yr enjoys doing the easy bits like putting the drink ,biscuit etc in the lunchbox and I do the other bit.

It's not written in stone or anything, some days I do it all, but he's at that age where he enjoys extra responsibility and I'm taking advantage of it.

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