It's almost back-to-school season so here are some handy tips for when you need to pack a lunchbox.
• Do remember children have likes and dislikes, just like adults. • Do ask your child what they would like by giving options – try asking: “Would you like a tuna sandwich or a salmon sandwich; would you like apple juice or milk to drink; and so on. Just asking “what do you want” can be overwhelming for some children, especially younger ones, so better to give an option. • Don’t worry if your child asks for the same lunch everyday. As long as it covers all the nutrients they need, there is no problem if they eat the same sandwich for the whole school year. • Do encourage your child to eat a wide variety of foods at home – this makes it easier for you to give them a greater variety of foods in their lunchbox. • Don’t panic if they don’t eat everything you give them. It is a rare child who eats perfectly and as long as they are eating a well balanced breakfast and dinner, it shouldn’t be a big problem. Do encourage your child to try new foods at home and as they get used to them, you can add them to the lunchbox. • Do use your imagination. You can have fun experimenting with different foods and combinations. Encourage your children to help you come up with lunch box ideas– kids are often more willing to eat new foods if they have chosen them themselves.
We would all like to think that our children have a perfect diet – eating lots of fruit, loving vegetables and avoiding junk food at all costs, but in real life there are few kids who wouldn’t throw away an apple for a treat any day of the week.