Making school lunches can be such a chore, especially with fussy eaters in the family. It can be easy to fall into a daily grind of the same thing for lunch every. single. day. Yaaawn! If you’re looking for some tasty, healthy lunchbox options that are no fuss, and quick and easy to make, here are a few tips and ideas that you might find helpful.
Moving in a clockwise direction from top left, here’s what our lunches consisted of last week:
1. Ham sandwiches, watermelon pieces, garlic crispbreads, avocado, natural yoghurt with strawberry.
2. Shredded roast chicken, pieces of cheese, hommus dip with carrot and cucumber sticks, kiwi fruit and grapes.
3. Carrot sticks and cucumber slices, grapes, orange and kiwi fruit pieces, hommus and rice crackers, avocado sandwiches.
4. Chicken and mayonaise sandwiches, chopped apple pieces with blueberries, cheese and cucumber slices.
5. Carrot sticks with tzatziki dip, watermelon and grapes, ham and cream cheese sandwiches with cucumber slices, kids nudie fruit juice.
6. Vanilla yoghurt with berries, carrot sticks and cucumber slices, banana and strawberries, cheese and crackers, vegemite sandwiches.
TIPS TO ENCOURAGE FUSSY EATERS
Making school lunches for fussy eaters is not a whole lot of fun, is it? It’s so easy fall into a rut of making the same old thing day in, day out, rather than face a lunchbox full of uneaten food every afternoon after school. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few things that I have found to be helpful in encouraging my fussy eater. Here are my top tips for encouraging fussy eaters.
1. Small portions
Keeping portions small will mean that your fussy eater isn’t overwhelmed by a huge amount of “challenging” tastes and textures.
2. Colour, colour, colour.
I admit this one can be tricky, especially when your fussy eater is going through a “white food only” phase (you know, cheese, pasta, potatoes, bread and anything else devoid of colour) but whenever possible, offer a variety of colour. It will make the lunch that much more appetising, and more colour means a wider range of nutrients.
Variety might sound near impossible when you have a fussy eater who only likes three different foods. Still, variety can be achieved by offering those three foods in different combinations each day, or offering the three favourites plus one new food in each lunch box.
4. Visually appealing
Food is always more appetising when it looks fun and interesting. Try using cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, cheese and fruit into fun shapes, line up cheese and cucumber side by side to make patterns (see pic 4 above), and use cupcake cases or other containers to add colour and fun to the lunch.
It’s all trial and error. Try something new and if it comes back home uneaten, leave it for now and try it again in a few weeks’ time. Encourage your fussy eater but don’t criticise or push. It will only make meal time stressful and it will make fussy eaters even more resistant to trying new things.
6. Involve the kids
Encourage kids to help select fruit and other healthy choices at the supermarket. Show them new fruits that they may not have tried before and let them pick something out. Handing over the decision making to them will foster independence and will encourage them to take ownership of their lunch. They can also help with making sandwiches and packing the lunch, all of which will foster a healthy attitude towards their diet.
HEALTHY DRINKS FOR KIDS
I like to include a fruit juice in R’s lunchbox each day. He’s not only fussy with his food but also his fruit juice (no pulp please Mum!) Sigh. To be fair, I’m just as fussy as he is when it comes to fruit juice but for different reasons. It’s really important to me that I give him juice that is 100% fruit – no added sugar, not made from concentrate. I LOVE nudie fruit juice and have done for years and now that they have a dedicated kids range I don’t have to stand in the supermarket reading through labels looking for something healthy. I simply rock up to the chilled section at Woolworths, grab our favourite flavours and off we go.
kids nudie is made from 100% fruit and comes in four yummy flavours. Even R loves them, which is a huge deal! The range includes orange, apple, tropical and apple & blackcurrant. Did I mention they were 100% fruit? Really. Nothing else. No additives, no concentrate, no sugar – just fruit. As with all nudie products, the packaging for their kids range is adorable – full of jokes, puzzles and fun facts for the kids to giggle over while they eat their lunch. They also have a ridiculously cute website with all kinds of fun activities for the kids to enjoy.
This is a Contagious Agency sponsored post for nudie.