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Packing a Healthy School Lunch for Your Child

Are you asking yourself “how should I pack healthy lunches for my children every day of the week and actually get them to eat them?” If so, here are some tips to get you through this school year.

Many parents feel that their children either won’t eat or don’t eat the healthy lunches they make. A way to avoid this problem is to get your children involved in making their lunches.

  • First, take your children grocery shopping with you. Provide them with choices that fall within guidelines you are comfortable with. This trip may take extra time, so plan the extra time into your day.
  • Start with a food that your child seems interested in. For example, if they look at a certain fruit or vegetable, encourage them to try it. If you do not know how to eat or cook it, look up recipes together with your child.
  • If you don’t like it, don’t assume your child won’t either.
  • Eventually, your child will be able to choose a food in each category. This teaches them to make their own food choices and how to build a balanced meal.
  • Get a lunchbox that comes with an icepack to keep food safe.
  • Lastly, ask your child to get involved in preparing their own lunch. Give him or her a task when you are making lunches. You can show how to make a sandwich, step-by-step. This way, they can learn to make their own in the future and give you one less thing to do during the day!

For children who receive school lunches:

  • Ask your school to send home the weekly printout of the school menu.
  • Review the menu with your child each week.
  • Ask your child to choose what they think are the healthiest options for each day and talk about what their choices will be. This will help make your child aware of the foods that are the most nutritious and prepare them to make the decisions at school.
  • Provide your child with healthy snacks such as apples and oranges to help deter vending machine purchases or unhealthy food choices.

For more details on “Building a Healthy Lunch” go to our blog from August 2014. For steps on “How to Build a Healthy Sandwich” see last month’s blog post.

Below is a fun and healthy recipe to kick start your lunch revolution! This is a basic recipe to which you can add more toppings. For more ideas for toppings  and how to pack this lunch, go to http://www.superhealthykids.com/mini-taco-bar.

Mini Taco Bar Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
  • multigrain tortillas
  • mixed greens leafy lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • olives
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Brown taco meat.
  2. Add taco seasoning mix according to package directions.
  3. Add kidney beans and heat throughout.
  4. With a biscuit cutter, cut whole wheat tortilla rounds from a large whole wheat tortilla.
  5. Add desired toppings.

Recipe from www.Superhealthykids.com.

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