Are fussy eaters making your kitchen a battlefield? We’ve all been there. And many of us still are… Back-to-school time can be a stressful period as it means facing once again the lunch box drama. However, satisfying your kids’ taste buds with simple but nutritious choices is possible; read on to find out smart ideas and useful tips!
While it might be tempting to stick to the usual sandwiches, wraps and roll-ups with sliced veggies and cheese or meat can be a better idea. Most kids get easily tired of eating the same thing too often.
The easier the foods are to eat, the better. Bite-sized foods, like small cubes of cheese on skewers and chicken nuggets, are always a hit.
Just start with what your kids like and tweak it just a little bit. Adding healthier versions of their favorite treats can be really easy. Just add broccoli to a mouthwatering pasta sauce, hide a little bit of spinach under a blanket of mashed potatoes, or use a fine grater and add a carrot and some peas to muffins or pies; the possibilities are endless!
You don’t have to overthink it; simple and familiar combinations work well for kids. Yes, children need to be exposed to a variety of foods, but their lunch boxes aren’t the perfect place to put this chicken masala curry dish you love!
Do your little ones recoil at the sight of raw carrots but tolerate the steamed ones? Then cook them! We all have our preferences when it comes to food – and that’s totally OK.
It’s easy to toss an apple into the lunch box, but it is fun to present fruits in an out-of-the-box way. You can pack them with dips, like yogurt or a little bit of peanut butter. You may also want to turn some fruits into a bright colorful smiley face, or cut them into fun shapes – it’s amazing what a couple of cookie cutters can do! Your kids’ faces will light up when they see that you’ve taken lunch options to the next level.
Make meal preparation a time for fun and let your little ones add ingredients or sprinkle cheese and some herbs. Involving your children in the food preparation and cooking process is the perfect way to avoid any complaints later on.
If your little ones see you eating ready meals and junk food too often, then this is what they will believe is a normal diet. Healthy eating habits must be a living example in the house if we want them to become children’s natural way.
Bribing your children to eat healthy meals in order to get something will only cause problems later on. Nutritious food shouldn’t be a reward for something. Bribing your kids will make their main meal seem like a chore they have to get through to get to the good part; and you certainly don’t want that!
P.S. Don’t forget to add a fun note every once in a while. Putting thoughtful little notes into your children’s lunch boxes will make them feel loved, and will help them start their lunch with a smile and a good mood. Sometimes, a handwritten message on a napkin can work wonders!