Are you on a mission to get your kids to be eating well while you are watching and while are away? Try using some of our suggested tips mentioned in this post to help you work towards that goal:
1- Get the kids involved
Give your kids healthy food options from each food group and let them make the final decisions on what goes in their lunch. Take them grocery shopping with you and let them have a say (to a certain extent of course!) in what goes into the cart. Create a lunch packing station in the kitchen and spend some time there with your kids the night before to get lunch ready for the next day. This gives them something to look forward to in their lunches
2- Make lunches fun
Especially for the younger children, get fun and creative with your lunches, if you visit this Parentmap link here you can find some ideas that are fun and useful.
3- Make your own snacks
Fruit roll-ups were the new, tasty treat to have for snack and lunches back in the day. They were fun and delicious however they were far from nutritious. Making homemade ones takes hardly any time, and the oven does the rest! Using fruit gives you natural sweetness. Another inexpensive and kid-favourite snack you can make at home? Granola bars!
Hummus and pita
4- Replace Fruit juices with flavoured water
You don’t the children to build a huge tolerance for sugar at a young age, most fruit juices have a little too much sugar. Instead you make your own infused water juices – A few slices of lemon, lime, and orange will make a glass of cold water even more refreshing! If you really want the water to taste like the fruit, squeeze it first to release some of the juices. And get creative with seasonal fruits
5- Tick off all food groups
A balanced diet includes all of the food groups. Use the Eatwell guide as a visual to help you structure what should go into your child’s lunch. Luckily, there are so many different ways to enjoy each food group:
Fruits: Fresh, frozen, dried or baked (apple or banana chips!).
Vegetables: Fresh crunchy veg, with a lovely little dip (salsa, hummus… etc)
Lean protein: Baked or sautéed chicken, hard boiled eggs, beans or nuts
Whole Grains: Pita, brown grainy bread, tortillas, wraps, and pastas.
Low-fat dairy: Milk, yogurt or cheese
And finally, here are a few quick little ideas of some snappy and tasty school lunches:
- English muffin pizza: Top half an English muffin with tomato sauce, chopped veggies, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted.
- Frozen bananas: Cut large, peeled bananas in half, then insert a wooden popsicle stick. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Once frozen, peel off the plastic wrap and enjoy – if you want to add some sweet components dip the tip of the banana in some melted dark chocolate with some crushed peanuts as an extra treat.
- Fruit smoothies: Blend fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and nonfat or low-fat milk.
- Ants on a log: Spread a thin layer of peanut (or almond) butter on narrow celery sticks. Top with a row of raisins or other diced dried fruit.
- Pita Strips and Hummus: Chickpeas are loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins, so you can feel great about serving kids this. The dipping factor adds a measure of fun.
- Taco Bowls: Why wait for Tuesday to have tacos. No shells necessary! Just fill a bowl with meat, cheese and other favourite toppings.