Secrets of a healthy lunch

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

girl eating lunchWe're pretty new to the lunch packing thing at our house, just having survived our first week of kindergarten. But so far, my five-year-old eats her whole grain sandwich, her side of fresh fruits or veggies, and brings home the very small treat I've stuck in her lunchbox each day because she's "too full." All things parenting should be this easy.

But I know it won't always be so easy. The CDC's recent national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that a whopping 80% of teens aren't meeting their fruits and vegetable goals for the day. Young children, I think, are easier to feed because the outside influence is kept to a minimum. But when they get older, there's potential for battles over snack foods, sodas, and the vending machines at school.



Forbes
has some tips for packing healthy lunches kids will actually eat, including:
  • Make your kids part of the lunch-packing process and let them choose their own (healthy) meal each day.
  • Take your kids to the grocery store and let them help pick out foods that will go in their lunch.
  • Kids are more likely to eat food they've grown or created, so get them busy in the garden or kitchen.
  • Make healthy versions of the foods your kids are craving, like veggie pizza for example.
  • Pack lunches the night before, when you aren't in a hurry and more likely to give in.
Make sure to watch their slideshow, too, Seven Healthy School Lunch Secrets.

What's in your child's lunchbox?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.