Want to make your child’s lunch healthy, nutritious, delicious and fun? Try a few of the time-tested ways of UK mothers.
1. Make Fruit Easier
Fruit takes a long time to prepare and eat in many cases, so don’t make your child the last one eating while others are playing. Peel his Clementine and wrap it in plastic wrap or put the pieces in a snack size plastic bag. Cut the kiwi into slices and make fun skewers with bite-sized fruit slices or chunks.
2. Cut Out the Salt
We all tend to eat too much salt in a day, children included. Many of the lunchbox favorites such as cheese strings, processed ham and cheese lunch packs and crisps are especially high in salt. Eating foods high in potassium, however, help to balance the effects of salt in the body.
3. Keep Salads Crispy
When making a salad for your child’s lunch, pack the dressing and the actual salad separately. This way your child can pour on the dressing himself and avoid letting everything get soggy.
4. Build on the Good Stuff
Examine your child’s lunchbox every afternoon or evening and ask what he liked and what he didn’t. If there is food that wasn’t eaten, ask why he choose not to eat it without getting angry or defensive. Learn from his preferences and help him to expand into similar foods he might like and be open about what can go into a lunchbox every day.
Keep it simple, silly! There is no sense in letting last night’s dinner go to waste. Pack a bit in your child’s lunchbox – soup keeps well in a flask, chicken skewers or other simple fares can be eaten the next day. You can also pack lunches the night before to help cut down on the chaos of the morning.
6. Serve Hot Food
A lunchbox brings to mind cold sandwiches, but you can still send along something warm. A large thermos is great at keeping soups or pasta warm until lunch-time, and being able to serve warm food opens up your options for the lunchbox tremendously.
7. Serve it Cold
An easy way to keep a lunch cool is to simple freeze his juice. A plastic bottle or juice box frozen overnight will take the day to thaw keeping the rest of the lunch cold and even providing your child with a nice, cold drink at lunchtime.
8. Retain Moisture
If you cut vegetables to be included in a lunchbox, you run the risk of having your food items dry out. You can easily avoid this by wrapping the cut pieces in a wet paper towel or napkin before placing them into the baggie.
9. Reduce Junk
While you probably can’t eliminate junk food completely, you can cut back on the amount of processed foods your child eats in a day. For example, don’t pack a bag of crisps in his lunch – put a small handful in a baggie and send it along instead.
10. Keep it Personal
You’re packing his lunch with love, so remind him of just how much you care for him by tucking in a little surprise. Notes, stickers, jokes and special treats go a long way to make lunchtime and even the whole school day a lot more fun and meaningful to children. You can also get creative with his regular food – cut out his sandwich with a cookie cutter to give it a fun shape or draw a face on his fruit using a permanent marker. Your children can also help to make the fun items, such as cookies and muffins, they take to lunch on the weekends and then enjoy eating them throughout the week.