As another school year begins, so does the chore of keeping your kids interested in their school lunch, while trying to keep it healthy.
Catherine McCord, of Weelicious.com said that thinking out of the lunch box can make all the difference.
“If it looks fun to a kid, all of a sudden they are going to be much more excited about trying it,” said McCord.
Adding color, shape and texture, could change a boring meal into one that your kids will brag about, she added.
Picking foods that are bright in color like strawberries, bananas and mangos can brighten up your child’s lunchbox. And think locally.
“If you can pick things that are in season it probably comes from your local area,” said McCord. “What's in season is always less expensive, a lot more fresh and the nutrients are going to be there.”
Cutting up your child’s food into fun shapes can also help. And handing your child a boring square of a sandwich will not get them to eat it any faster.
“If you cut it into a teddy bear or a truck, it's made with love and there's something to giggle at,” McCord said.
Texture can also a difference. Adding foods that have some crunch will be more interesting for your child to eat.
McCord also suggested making lunch an interactive experience. Cutting up fruits and veggies and then adding something to dunk them in like peanut butter, hummus or ranch dip keep kids active during lunchtime – and if you’re pressed for time – low-fat salad dressing makes a great dip.
If your kids are stuck in the cold cut-sandwich rut, try changing it up. They can still get protein from other foods.
“Proteins like cheese, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds are good, and because some schools these days are nut free, sunflower butter is an awesome option,” said McCord.
Finally, get your kids involved. The more decisions your child makes about what goes into his or her lunch box, the more knowledgeable they will be about healthy foods.