Once a child starts going to school, in addition to giving him the best milk for brain development, it’s best to make sure that his diet will allow him to get the right amount and variety of essential nutrients he needs.
This means parents must give their children nutritious meals and snacks every day. This is something that they should do both at home and while their child is in school.
Getting Children to Eat Fruits and Veggies in School
To get a child into the habit of eating nutritious fruits and vegetables even when he’s in school, parents must make sure these items are in his lunchbox every day. Here are some tips for adding fruits and veggies in a child’s lunch for school:
1. Make sure to keep a stock of fruits and vegetables at home
Parents will have a harder time forgetting to put an apple in their child’s lunchbox or to add some lettuce and tomatoes to his sandwich if both the fridge and pantry are full of fresh (and even canned) produce.
As such, when grocery shopping, don’t forget to place a variety of fruits and veggies in the cart. Before stocking up on healthy items, parents are advised to wash and place them separate containers so that they can be easily and quickly added to a child’s packed meal.
It will also be much easier to add some fresh fruits and veggies to the little one’s lunchbox if they are already pre-washed and ready to eat.
2. Give children a great lunchbox to use
Lunchboxes come in different types and sizes today and as such, parents will be sure to find one that their child will like, which will also allow mom or dad to add one or more fresh fruit.
When a child has a lunch box with compartments, berries, grapes, cherries, and other small fruits can be easily packed, and parents need not fear that they will be crushed or squished. This way, a child is faced with more variety in the fruits and veggies he can eat in school.
3. Add some fruits or vegetables to kid’s sandwiches
Sandwiches are the typical school lunch meals of kids since they are easy and quick to eat. They are not that hard to prepare and pack as well. As long as a good sandwich is prepared, children will be satisfied with this meal and will feel full until their next snack or meal.
Children’s sandwiches can be made healthier and more filling by adding some fruits or vegetables. If the menu for the day includes tuna sandwiches, some shredded carrots and chopped olives and bell peppers can be added.
Parents also won’t go wrong with a BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes) since this type of sandwich already has some veggies in it.
Even if it’s just the usual PB&J sandwich, it’s possible to sneak in some fruits, too. Bananas taste great with peanut butter and jelly.
4. Add fruits and veggies to other dishes
Kids will appreciate variety in their packed lunch so don’t always give them sandwiches to take to school. For lunch, parents can also prepare pasta, pita wraps, fish and chips, etc. Of course, make sure to add some fruits and veggies to these dishes.
For a pasta dish, prepare broccoli pesto pasta or a simple pasta salad. Add fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce to a chicken or turkey pita wrap. For the fish and chips meal, instead of French fries, serve the fish with baked crispy sweet potatoes since they contain more nutrients than the typical brown spuds.
5. Start small but be consistent
Lastly, if parents are just starting to add fruits and veggies to their kid’s packed lunch, they’ll find that they are being met by some resistance from the little one. As such, it is best to take things slow, which means adding only one or a few pieces of fruits and veggies in his meals and lunchbox at a time.
It is best to start adding fruits and vegetables that they like. Cook and serve these in their preferred ways as well. Gradually add other types of produce and increase the amount or portion.
The important thing to remember is to be consistent in including fruits and veggies to their packed lunch every day so that they can have healthy eating habits even in school.
Just as breast milk or prepared milk is crucial for a baby’s development, fruits and vegetables are important for a school-aged child’s health, too. It’s best to make sure they get the nutrients they need every day by packing them healthy, balanced school lunches.
How do you motivate your kids to eat and enjoy the fruits and vegetables in the lunches they take to school? Sound off in the comments.