5 Tips To Liven Up Your Lunchbox

Airdrie, Feeding Therapy, Occupational Therapy Calgary, Dietitian

Its that time again.  Summer is coming to and end and school is about to be kicked off.  While you may be having mixed feelings about the change in schedule one thing parents usually dread is school lunches!  Below are 5 tips to help shred the lunch box dread, maintain variety and keep your kid enjoying their lunch.

  1. Get family input. Keep a couple lists on the fridge.  List 1: Easy to grab and go things to load into lunch boxes.  Should identify what is available in the fridge and what you might buy    Yogurts, Cheese, muffins, energy bites, chopped veggies, fruits.  List 2:  Lunch ideas.  Get your kids involved, depending on age, with a list of ideas for lunches, get them to help prep or shop for some of these foods.

2. Change up how its served.  Always serve a meal with foods that is recognizable by your children but change the way you serve it.

  1. Avocado or Guacamole- sliced on toast/dip or a spread on crackers/topping to something else
  2. Dried chick peas or Hummus– Add to a trail mix/ a side with some fruit or platter, Add the hummus to a sandwich/ or a dip.
  3. Sliced apples or apple sauce.
  4. Roasted veggies or raw veggies.  Veggie kabobs/ roasted veggie medley/ stir fry/ roasted into sandwiches or have raw veggies with dip or cut into sandwiches
  5. Fruit kabobs or sliced fruit with dip

3. Keep It Positive. Meal times should be a positive experience.  Try to avoid pressuring your child to eat a certain amount or a type of food.  As a parent it is you job to provide the food.  Its up to your child how much they will eat and what they will eat from what is served!   Kids hunger will fluctuate daily.  It is important for you to allow them to listen and honour their own hunger and fullness cues.  Remember a child’s appetite will vary just like your hunger and fullness does.  One thing that can be beneficial is to set up a consistent routine around timing of meals for your family.

4. Add A Note. Put a personalized note in your kid’s lunch box. I.e.) Have a fabulous day, Love you lots, etc.   Make sure the note has no reference to how much food they should eat or an order they should eat it.  It is important to make the connection that you love and support them but their choice of what they eat is up to the child and its important that they have autonomy in this decision.

5. Failing to plan is planning to fail.  Establish a time for this very important activity. Get a good selection of foods in and ensure that you rotate your choices to bring variety into your diet.  Try having easy grab and go items on hand.  If you need help meal prepping, go to your local grocery store and purchase things pre-chopped and individually packaged.

Lunch Time Meal Ideas:

    1. Pita Roll ups
    2. Hummus and pita
    3. Rice cakes with nut butter and bananas
    4. Stir-Fry left overs
    5. Cheese & chicken quesadilla
    6. Muffin Top Banana Bread
    7. Overnight oats
    8. Pancakes topped with Berries
    9. Waffles with fruit of choice
    10. Guacamole & Salsa with Corn chips
    11. Chicken kabobs and veggies kabobs with naan bread
    12. Quinoa/Rice Salad Bowls
    13. Tacos
    14. Pita Pizzas
    15. Tunafish mixed with mayo, Greek yogurt and mustard on crackers

Happy Family Fuelling.

Your Feeding Team,

Stephanie & Leslie

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