After the long holidays comes the task of getting the kids ready to start a new school year. It is always good to draw up your list as early as possible and ensure you have everything ready for them to start ease into the term. Read my post on “staying healthy tips” to remind you of the good practices that will help the kids enjoy a hitch-free term time.
Nutrition is one of the things that you think about when the kids are going back to school. What shall i put in their lunchbox? Do i have enough healthy meal ideas for them? Can i make healthy snacks that they will love? All these and more are mind boggling but calm down…just remember that you can give them that healthy lunch and snack if you get prepared on time with these helpful back-to-school food tips:
- Get that fun lunchbox – Buy a lunchbox that your child likes or matches his/her personality and age. This makes them feel excited and more inclined to eat their food. Do you have fun stickers that they like? Get them use it to decorate their plain-looking lunchboxes and see their excitement at that. Snuck in an interesting or cheerful note in their box just for fun.
- Get the essentials – Essential non-perishable foods can be bought in bulk and the right food packaging too. Plastic and paper bags, as well as small containers that also go into the main box.
- A meal plan does help – Create a meal plan with your child’s favourite foods and fruits (use our sample meal planner to make your plan). Put portions of fruits and vegetables in ziplock bags for each school day, so that it makes it easy for you to take out in the morning instead of prepping up in the morning. Getting things done the night before does help a lot.
- Plan together – If you pack what your child dislikes, they will not eat it. So, get them come up with a weekly lunch plan with you, ask them their food choices while ensuring you guide them to make better choices that includes fruits and veggies in their meals. By involving them, they are more likely to eat their packed lunch as against thrashing or returning home with it.
- Use shapes and sizes – Cut fruits and sandwiches into fun shapes and sizes for the younger ones. They get excited and are more likely to pick them up and eat.
- Avoid packaged foods – These are processed foods that are generally high in sugar, sodium, preservatives and unhealthy fats. It is easier to buy them for the kids but they are no good. It is rather good to invest the money for them in healthy and fresh fruits as their after-meal snack.
- Be creative with leftovers – Last night’s dinner if enjoyed by the kids can be made into a yummy lunchbox meal. Turn leftover yams to croquettes or fritters. Leftover white rice can be mixed with veggies and protein (fish, chicken, seafood) to get a tasty fried rice.
- Talk Nutrition – Talk to your child about the nutrition in foods that you are preparing or cooking, especially how it affects their body. This helps them understand the relation between eating the right foods and being healthy.
- Be food safe – School lunch are normally left at room temperature for most of the day before it is eaten. It is important to remember and keep them at a safe temperature till then. A cold pack or frozen water bottle beside the food can help keep the food cool till lunch time.
- Breakfast – I am putting this last but always remember it is the first and a very important one. A healthy breakfast makes your child concentrate better in school, solve problems and reduce behavioural issues. Don’t ever send your child to school with an empty stomach.
Did you find these tips helpful? Then share with your friends and i’ll also appreciate your comment, feedback or any other helpful tip.