Meal times can be challenging, and with school coming up, you want to make sure your school-goer is getting the energy they need to reach their full potential. No one wants to find a full lunch box in their child’s bag at the end of the day – so here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas to help you out!
Lunch at home hack: Turn trying new foods at lunch time into a game! Prepare a variety of different foods, including new foods and foods they enjoy. Blindfold your child, and get them to taste test! Give the food taster the different foods and have them guess what it is. This can be turned into a competition between siblings – with the winner who guesses the most options correct awarded with a prize. And most importantly, keep trying! It may seem like a whole lot of effort, but the overall goal is to give your child the food they need to grow.
- Introduce children to new foods on the weekends, instead of surprising them with something new in their lunch box. Many kids have a fear of the unknown when it comes to food so this is an effective approach to broaden their eating horizons
- Discuss lunch options with them
- Separate foods in their lunch box. For example, soggy sandwiches aren’t likely to be eaten so separate foods like tomato from the sandwich. They then have the choice of adding the extra ingredients to the sandwich or eat them separately. Lunch boxes that have built-in compartments are great for separating foods
- Praise your child when they eat something new – this positive reinforcement may encourage them to try more new foods
- Relate the foods to what they’re interested in. For example, if your child loves all things space, you could give them dried fruit “like the astronauts eat”!
- Identify the foods they like and create lunch meals around these.
- Introduce one new food at a time
- Use cupcake papers to put different foods into. This is a great way to keep everything separate and tidy
- Make food fun and easy to eat. For example, cut sandwiches into different shapes to make them look more interesting
- Save on unnecessary packaging such as plastic bags, foil, and cling foil with compartment lunchboxes or smaller containers to be inserted into their lunchbox
- Make lunch time even more exciting by adding blind bags into the mix. These are small, cheap toys that make an awesome addition to the lunch box and keep your child excited for lunch time