We could drum up loads of ways to make sandwiches or soups healthier but if it’s your child’s idea to try grated carrot in their wrap, it’s much more likely to fly. Am I right?!
Here are a few ideas to help that along. Make a mental note of any ones you’d like to try.
- Plan, shop, cook and eat together often. It’s one of the best ways to help our kids develop healthy eating habits. Growing food together works magic too! Help your child fill out this Plan it! Pack it! Eat it! resource to list lunches and snacks they would like to take to school.
- Check out the Yummy Lunch Club contests for fun monthly food challenges that help kids to build food skills.
- Persuade with taste, not nutrition. Taste generally trumps nutrition for kids. And when it comes to nutrition, offer up benefits that matter to kids like eating healthy food gives you energy to play.
- Practice what you preach. Let your child see you try some new healthy lunch ideas.
- Look for some new lunch ideas together. Make a list of things to try. Use this Make lunch time fun time resource to identify foods your child likes and new ones they are willing to try. When looking for ideas on this site or in cookbooks or magazines, point out the different:
- Breads, grains;
- Vegetables, fruit;
- Spreads, dips, fillings;
- Sides, salads, soups;
- Hot and cold lunches.
Dietitian’s tip: Kids may need to try a food 15 times or more before they decide they like it. I often tell my kids just because you don’t like something now doesn’t mean you won’t like it six months from now. And truth be told, I never started eating mushrooms until university and I don’t think I’m any worse for wear!
How do you get your child to eat healthier lunches? If an idea worked for you it will probably work for someone else too!
Do you have a question about school lunches? Email me!
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