Lunchboxes Need a Healthy Makeover, Study Shows
While there is not a recent similar study looking at U.S. kids lunch boxes, nutrition expert Elisa Zied says there is some middle ground for parents.
I would say it's a mixed bag," Zied, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips (2009) tells ParentDish.com "A lot of parents do pack more healthful options like whole wheat bread and fresh fruit." But there are social pressures in the lunch room and also kids who don't always like the healthy options, she says.
She says giving kids choices of lunch options helps get good food into their lunchbox and then into their mouths without trad
ing or wasting it. She packed turkey on whole wheat with a little mayo, grapes, 100 calorie pack of Gold Fish crackers and cookies for her two sons yesterday. They don't like hummus and she knows better than to send what they don't like.
"If you have a child who likes edamame and hummus and can tell friends that's her lunch choice, that's great," Zied says. :But if you try to force your child to take something healthy they don't like because it will backfire.
"it's a challenge, but remember it's one meal a day," Zied cautions."You have so many opportunities to feed them well during the week, this is five meals a week."
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.