Recently during one of my pantry makeover escapades, a sweet mother and client of mine shared her famous “last lunch” story involving her high school son.

This blessed saint of a mom had dedicated the early mornings of the past 12 years to ensuring that her son always had a wholesome, healthy sack lunch to bring to school—a rare act of love in today’s fast paced culture!

One morning after discovering that he had forgotten his lunch at home, she took it upon herself to make the 15-minute commute to special deliver it to his school.  Figuring the unlocked trunk of his car would be the perfect place to leave it for him, she popped open the back door, and to her huge disappointment discovered a large pile of her paper bag wrapped labors of love, wasted and uneaten.  “That was when I decided he was more than old enough to make his own lunch,” she explained.

How is it that today’s young people are graduating from high school with an education preparing them for college but leaving them unschooled in the decision making skills and unappreciative of healthy, sack lunch?  Is it not troubling that we have 17-year old’s who understand the mechanics of a cell and the mathematics of calculus but who are dependent upon mom to pack their PBJ?

Most parents acknowledge the countless benefits of our kids eating healthy sack lunches, especially since Jamie Oliver’s famous Food Revolution TV series premiered in 2010, awakening us to the scary realities of school cafeteria food at its worst.   Very few parents however feel they can take the time to packing a lunch for their kids, let alone require them to do so themselves.

Food is our fuel for life.  There is little that is more important for us to teach our kids than educating them with how to make healthy food choices and the skills needed to enjoy truly good food.  We set our kids up to a great disadvantage in life when we choose not to include them in every day decision making with food.  The good news is that wherever you are in your current habits at home, a brand new school year has only just begun, and with that you have a brand new window of opportunity.  Let us begin equipping the future of our nation with the life skills to receive and share forward the gift of health through the foods we eat.

Join me next week as I share my insights into raising our kids with the life skills to prepare their own healthy sack lunches!