With school just around the corner comes the task of coming up with new and innovative ways to keep your child’s lunchbox interesting enough that they will enjoy eating what you pack while still maintaining healthy habits.
During the summer it is so much easier to maintain variety and provide healthy choices, but it isn’t as easy when we are relegated to the good ‘ole lunchbox!! Unfortunately, many of us become frustrated and end up packing the same boring lunch day in and day out and then wonder why their lunchboxes are coming home almost as full as they left in the morning.
Here are a few tips for keeping their back to school lunchbox healthy and, even more importantly, for encouraging your kids to eat:
Pack a Rainbow
Just think about your evening dinner plate. When you add colour and a variety of colours to your plate, it adds excitement to any meal. This is the same psychology that restaurants use and explains why presentation is so important. When packing your child’s lunch, try to pack items that are of a variety of colours (and I’m not talking about rainbow chocolate chip cookies!!).
Eating the same old food day in and day out can get quite boring. Would you want to eat the same lunch every day? Why not try adding variety to their meals … instead of bread, substitute a bagel or wrap. Also, try varying the temperatures of the meals you pack and include a variety of cold and hot lunches. Try packing cereal (especially if your child will be purchasing milk at school) or purchase a good quality thermos for soups, stews and chili’s.
Get Your Kids Involved
More often than not, children say they didn’t eat their lunch because they didn’t like it. Take your children with you on your grocery outings and let them make their own choices.
Freeze Their Juice Box
One great idea for keeping your child’s lunch cold without having to worry about ice packs is to freeze their juice box. By the time lunch rolls around, the juice box should be thawed and even if it is a little slushy, the kids will love the change.
Make it Fun
Why not make your child’s lunch fun? One way to make lunch fun is to include foods they can play with such as crackers, meat and cheese slices that they can stack themselves, or another way is to try adding foods that they can dip in sauces.
One last tip to share with you … on occasion, add a quick note to your child in their lunch box. Guaranteed it will brighten their day to know that you are thinking about them.