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How to Pack a Healthier Lunch and other Healthy Food Tips for your Kids

eat baby eat baby eat baby eat baby eatphoto © 2006 fosco lucarelli | more info (via: Wylio)Getting your kids to eat healthy foods can oftentimes feel like a chore. Here are a few simple ideas to help set your child up for a lifetime of good nutrition skills.

Commit to eating dinner. When you commit to regular family dinners you are helping your children to learn about healthier meals and healthier food choices. Turn the t.v. off and teach your children to pay attention to hunger cues. Mindlessly eating in front of the television only promotes unhealthy eating habits.

Give your pantry a makeover. Get rid of unhealthy foods and replace it with options like whole grains, veggies, low-fat cheeses, fruits, and brown rice. Whole wheat pita chips with salsa and air popped popcorn make great healthy snacks too!

Be their teacher. Start now in teaching your children about nutrition. Teach them the different food groups and help them to identify and choose the fruits and vegetables they do like.

Ditch old school rules. Remember when your parents insisted you finish all of the food on your plate? While you obviously want your children to eat, you shouldn’t take their control away entirely. Otherwise you are teaching them to ignore their hunger food cues.

Make a lunch that your kids want to eat. Ask them what fruits and veggies they want to take with them to school. Perhaps sending them with leftovers from the night before works for them. Maybe your child hates sandwiches but will eat a deconstructed sandwich (crackers, cheese, meat) or hates apples but will eat applesauce.

Check out these tips for packing a healthy lunch:

The Bento Box. A bento box is inspired by the Japanese and their apportioning of foods. (www.laptoplunches.com).

The nice thing is that when your child pops the top, all of their food is laid out in compartments, putting carrots on the same level as any dessert. Further, it keeps portions under control!

*Alternate between sliced and whole fruits.

*Use cookie cutters to transform veggies and sandwiches into fun shapes.

*Pack milk instead of sugary juices.

*Vary the breads. Alternate between wraps, buns, crackers, pita bread and english muffins.

*Try combining some of these:

Air-popped popcorn

Fruit salad

Home-made trail mix

Veggies and low-fat dip

Half a sandwich or a wrap


Mini whole grain baked goods

Crackers and cheese

Freeze dried fruit.

Little blend yogurts – try strawberry carrot or banana-sweet potato

sources: oxygen.com

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