It's back to school time and breakfast and lunch are important to keep students healthy and to keep them on task and doing their best work in school. Keep these tips in mind when sending your children off to school:
Don't skip breakfast, even if it's just a glass of low fat milk. Try adding a breakfast powder to add vitamins, minerals and a bit more protein.
Whole grain cereals, oatmeal, toast, English muffins, or mini bagels are quick to prepare.
Try an egg sandwich: microwave one egg in a microwave-safe cup for 30 seconds. Place egg onto a toasted mini bagel for a quick out-the-door sandwich.
Make a quick, healthy breakfast treat by spreading a banana with peanut butter.
Make your own “lunch kit”:
Using toothpicks, skewer cherry
tomatoes, cheese cubes, or grapes, for a fun and easy to eat lunch for younger
Use tortillas for wrapping up
turkey, cheese, tuna salad, ham, etc. Add a light coating of mayonnaise, cream
cheese, or mustard, lettuce, pickles, or whatever your child favorite fillings and
Use cookie cutters to cut
sandwiches or cheese slices into fun shapes. If your child doesn’t like the
crust on breads, don’t make a big deal about it. Trim the crust ahead (just
barely shaving it off) and your child will most likely eat the whole sandwich
(as opposed to biting around the crust).
Pasta salads or
cold tortellini are hits with some kids.
Use leftovers. A chicken leg, or
turkey cubes are often a welcome change.
Try new veggies like cubed bed
bell peppers or sugar snap peas. Even if you child only tries a few bites, it’s
a start. Try mincing bell peppers into the spreads for the sandwich wraps.
Include milk every day at lunch.
Encouraging your child to drink milk at lunch ensures that he will get the
calcium and vitamin D he needs.
Include a fruit every day at lunch
(raisins, pears, applesauce, apples, grapes, berries, melon chunks).
Including a small treat (cookies,
chips, a cupcake) is okay. Encourage your child to eat most of his or her main
entrée, milk, and fruit before digging into the treat, but do allow something
fun to eat.
Children should have a say into what goes into their lunch
box.Include an element of fun in
eating. Some things may be non-negotiable (such as you must drink milk, eat
your sandwich or entrée, and have a fruit or vegetable), but if children can
pick out a special dessert or treat, they may be more willing to try the more
nutritious food that’s packed in their lunchbox. In addition, they are learning
a lot about balance and moderation, and how to manage their own healthy eating
habits (which can include cravings for certain foods that should be met with
moderation, but also acceptance). As a parent you can pack the “perfect lunch”
but if your child doesn’t eat it, it’s not so perfect.