Same Lunch Every Day -- Tips to Break the Habit

same lunch every day

Photo by Peajewel

I guess I'm lucky. My son doesn't insist on eating the same lunch every day like a lot of picky kiddos. Nope, my excellent son only eats the same lunch 4 to 5 times a week. Ham and cheese on wheat bread, dried dates or grapes, and graham crackers. The other one to two days I'm allowed to switch it up with a PBJ sandwich (made with natural peanut butter and preserves). Thanks fore being so cooperative, son (insert sarcastic tone here)!

Okay, okay, so my boy's addiction to cold cuts is not great. But at least he's getting some variety -- protein, carbs and fiber. And it's slightly better than what one blogger on Parent Dish is going through with her preschooler. Her daughter only eats ONE very protein heavy, processed lunch every single day: Tofu nuggets, Goldfish crackers, string cheese, grapes or banana, drinkable yogurt.

This mom wondered if the same lunch every day was really such a bad thing, especially if it's fairly healthy, and interviewed an expert on how to work more variety into a toddler's diet. What the expert told her:

1. Make gradual changes so she doesn't freak out. If the child overdoes it on the Goldfish crackers, mix them with some small whole-grain crackers, and gradually shift the mix to mostly whole-grain crackers. The same goes for the juice-water ratio at home.

2. Add a vegetable and take away some carbs or protein or whatever your toddler is overdosing on. Edamame are good starter vegetables, the expert says, as well as snap peas, broccoli cut into little trees, and carrots cut in thin strips.

For more tips, check out Parent Dish.


If you were a toddler and insisted on eating the same thing for lunch every single day, what would it be?

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snail... snailteacher

I will admit that I eat the same lunch nearly every day!  Easy, and I can eat it while running around the school.

Cheese, crackers (big wheat thins), fruit (either grapes or fruit salad!)!

Sad really, but when I pack something I need to heat I don't have time!

twinc... twinclubmom

My twins have three lunches that I rotate through:

chicken nuggets, sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza (no cheese)

for side dishes I usually give them a fruit, a cracker of some sort, a veggie (which they rarely touch) and sometimes soy yogurt

BaisMom BaisMom

I give my kiddo a pretty short list of choices for breakfast and lunch. Sometimes when we have more time for breakfast I'll cook, but other than that it's the usual. Lunch is pretty much always the same, but the type of fruit she gets will change. Dinner is always different.

mom2pres mom2pres

My child is sooooo incredibly picky that I am lucky (emphasize lucky heavily) if she will eat anything I give her. Breakfast is either, a waffle, toast, cereal, pancake or cream of wheat with some fruit. Lunch and dinner are battles, lunch is normally whatever I can con her with, she flat out refuses sandwiches, even a PB&J. She never finishes any of her meals. I hope this phase ends fast!

smile... smiley630

If I would allow it my 4 yr old would eat only pizza, however I do change it up on him.  We have pizza 2x a week, popcorn chicken, chicken breast patty, and a hamburger patty.  I mix up his veggies.  With the pizza he eats carrot sticks, the other veggies he will eat are LIMA beans, Green beans, whole kurnel corn, and french fries. We eat scrambled eggs and sausage almost everymorning for breakfast, the other mornings he will eat a waffle, or pop tart, or nutragrain bar.  He Drinks a gallon of milk a week (mostly with chocolate) but it is still milk

fiend... fiendishthingy

I plan a variety of healthy meals for my 2 year old when I go grocery shopping, but every day at breakfast AND lunch, I hear, "Peanut butter and jelly?", and at dinner time it's "Hamburger?"

Haze123 Haze123

My 3 1/2 year old used to eat anything you would put in front of him, and about the time he turned 2, it went down hill. For breakfast it is usually cereal, toast with just butter, or a pop tart. He won't eat waffles, french toast, pancakes, or eggs! Then for lunch he ALWAYS wants chicken nuggets, although I do switch it up on him, but chicken is what he always asks for. He will also eat macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwich, chicken salad sandwich. He does not eat  ANY vegetables except corn on the cob, (but not corn OFF the cob). I mean NO vegetables. He does eat fruit really well. But my biggest problem other than the vegetables, is what to give him instead of chips with his lunch everyday?  I haven't found a cracker yet that I can get him to eat. Any suggestions? 

mommios8 mommios8

I have a super picky four year old, but occasionally if I joke about the food , he'll try it, ie. here Jesse, eat a tree, it's broccolli, but if I had said, Jesse eat your broccolli, he would have ran from the table.  He loves his peanut butter as a dip with celery. A couple times I was able to sneak ground flax seed into his peanut butter.

The one thing i force is, oatmeal every morning with honey and if I put enough honey in, I can sneak an soft scrambled egg into the oatmeal.  My dad grew up on oatmeal and yogurt and is a healthy 86 year old.

About the person wanting cracker ideas, my son loves plain rice cakes and I add parmesan cheese (less additives that way) or try a triscuit with cheese.

Peajewel Peajewel

I think I could probably eat pizza every day for lunch.  My daughter so eats a lot of foods.  She would cheese all day every day, if I let her.  Cheese and toast are her favorite things in the world but she hates grilled cheese.  Weird kid. 

                                                                                                                            big smile mini  

nucle... nuclear_sugar

I'm blessed to not actually  have a very picky toddler...the things that he doesn't like are usually bad for him anyway (hates the texture of hamburger and the taste of red meat in general)...BUT...

I will say that his favorite "snacks" are about to take over my kitchen! He is a fiend for yogurt and bananas. Seriously, I have never seen a kid chug yogurt like he does. It's insane, and it seems like I'm running to the grocery store every few days JUST to get more yogurt and bananas. I'm glad it's a healthy snack, but,'s about time for that "moderation" talk with my son.

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