A few years ago, after a conversation between Sophie and her cousin Grace, we realized that when it comes to lunch, someone else’s always looks better. To help the girls keep track of what they liked about their own lunch, and what they spied in someone else’s lunch that looked particularly tasty, we created The Lunch Log. Like every great worksheet project, they used it for awhile until it lost its luster. Over the past two years, we’ve pulled it out and used it occasionally, usually when the lunch whining became particularly strong.
Recently, we’ve been talking about tracking food again, but this time for a different purpose. For quite some time, Sophie has had stomachaches, and we can’t quite figure out what is causing her trouble. We’ve tried adding more of certain foods into her diet, cut back on other things, and encouraged her to drink lots of water. Some days are definitely better than others, but we’re not seeing consistent results. In conversations with friends, I know that there are lots of families who are having similar experiences. It’s easy to spot the connection between what you eat and how you feel, but identifying foods that are causing trouble takes some time and diligence. It is a slow and tedious process.
Fact: There may be a direct connection between stomachache reduction and worksheet completion.*
*Totally not a fact.
While no worksheet has been scientifically proven to cure stomachaches, tracking what you eat and noting how you feel after doing so can certainly help to make the connections between food and the way your body feels. By writing it all down, we’re reducing some of the mystery and giving us the tools we’ll need to pay attention and find patterns.
Tracking is easy – simply complete the worksheet after each meal. If your child is a pretty good reader and writer, let them do the writing and add details as needed. At the end of the day, use the Recap section as a way to identify whether there was enough variety in the foods consumed to provide the nutrients needed for wellness and growth. Overall, the goal is to create an awareness between what you eat and how you feel, so don’t worry too much about 100% accuracy. Unless 100% accuracy is very important to you, in which case I apologize that I’m using LUNCH to represent ALL FOOD CONSUMED REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OF DAY.
Items you will need:
• Mini binder (holds 5.5” x 8.5” sized pages)
• Adjustable 3-hole punch or hand-held paper punch
• Scissors or paper cutter
• Colored pencils, markers, or crayons
• Printed cover and inside pages (see links below)