Ask children why they didn’t eat their lunches and more than likely they’ll come up with one of about four pet peeves. Here are some solutions that parents can use to make sure lunch makes the grade.
- Pack sandwich ingredients like bread, condiments, meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes separately. Let kids have some fun building their own sandwich at school. That way the bread won’t be mushy and the lettuce won’t wilt before lunch time. Teach kids to always wash their hands before eating meals and snacks and send a hand sanitizer for them to use.
- If you want to make the sandwich at home, try freezing the bread ahead of time. It should thaw out and be just right to eat by lunch.
- Use just a little mayonnaise to bind sandwich fillings like tuna, salmon or egg salad. Use other herbs and seasonings to add a little more flavour.
- Get your child’s help in choosing fruits for making a fresh fruit salad you can pack in little lunch box containers.
- Make little fruit kebobs by threading bite sized pieces of fresh fruit onto thin unsalted pretzel sticks or dull toothpicks. Try using pieces of soft fruits like kiwi, melons, pineapple and berries. Pack in a plastic container to avoid squashing.
- Try sending dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, apples or papaya bits or real fruit leathers to school instead of fresh fruit. Teach children to eat dried fruit with their meal or brush their teeth afterwards for dental health.
- Use an insulated lunch bag with a frozen ice pack to keep foods cold.
- Freeze yogurt cups or milk cartons the night before. They should thaw just in time for lunch.
- Use an insulated reusable drink container with some ice cubes in it to keep cold drinks cold.
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- Get your kids involved in choosing the foods they would like to eat for lunch. Set the ground rules by asking them to choose a few of their favourite foods from Canada’s Food Guide.
- Mix it up with new vegetables, fruit, breads and fillings. Cut sandwiches into a new shape with a large cookie cutter for a change. Give new lunch items a test run at home before sending them to school.
- Try new recipes with your child on the weekend when you have more time to find new lunch favourites. Involving kids in the kitchen not only helps improve their food skills, but also helps them try new foods and reduces the chance that lunch boxes will come home uneaten.
for more helpful tips like these!
With some creativity and planning, school lunches can be tasty and nutritious! Try different solutions to find the one that works best and don't forget to involve kids when you can.
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Last Update – January 14, 2022