Whether you are packing lunches for school, a road trip, a picnic in the park, or a fun filled day at the zoo the struggle is the same & very real! Getting your children to eat healthy is like trying to rearrange the stripes on a Zebra!
Educate– Educate the kiddos on nutritious foods!! If at all possible take the kiddos with you to the store. Teach them how to read food labels:
Simplicity is your best friend here. Focus on products with short, pronounceable ingredients and look for these labels: organic, antibiotic-free, non-GMO!
Look out for sodium. Small amounts of sodium are necessary for keeping proper body fluid balance but too much can contribute to high blood pressure. Almost all foods naturally contain small amounts of sodium but many processed foods contain greater amounts.
Watch the sugar content! Fruits naturally contain simple sugars but also contain fiber, water, and vitamins, which make them a healthy choice. Snack foods, candy and soda, on the other hand, often have large amounts of added sugars. And when it comes to drinks, water is the best option.
Select foods high in protein. The body, muscles, skin, and the immune system are made up of protein. Foods high in protein include eggs, meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, soybeans, and dried beans. Anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of the calories that kids consume each day should come from protein.
Want some help?
Take the kiddos to Imagination Station’s Eat it Up! Exhibit! It is the perfect & fun way to help educate your kiddos on nutrition!
Also, check out Heather Stouffer, CEO of Mom Made Foods, she is a huge advocate of watching food labels…watch her video ‘5 tips for reading food labels’ HERE .
Kids Pick– Let the children select the food they enjoy. Bottom line, if you pack broccoli and your son hates it, he won’t eat it. Let your kids weigh in on what they want to pack in their lunches, and offer them a few healthy choices so they feel like they’re in control.
Think Outside the Sandwich! – A sandwich is not a requirement for a lunch, think outside the sandwich! Try turkey and cheese roll-ups, sushi, meatballs, deviled eggs, veggies or fruit with dipping sauce (hummus, peanut butter, ranch, etc.)
Portion control- Double check the nutrition labels and make certain children are only consuming one serving size, if not less, most serving sizes are for adults, not children. Some company’s do offer a child size, like Stonyfield, the adult size has 23 grams of sugar and the children’s size has half the amount. It is vital that children watch their portion sizes.
Bacteria & Germs – Be safe. Pack lunches properly to ensure food safety and freshness. Invest in a reusable ice-pack; Rubbermaid makes this awesome blue ice that keeps ALL containers cool.
Always wash their hands before she eats.
Heed these 5 tips and watch the magic happen!
What is your biggest issue with kids lunches?