Like many responsibilities of parenting, getting your children to eat right is easier said than done.
If you pack a lunch for them to take to school, do you include only healthy foods, or do you put in a treat or two, knowing they’ll at least eat something?
Krayl Funch, health and wellness expert with Tampa Bay Parenting magazine, and Nagi Kumar, the director of nutrition research for Moffitt Cancer Center weighed in on this topic on Good Day Tampa Bay, by giving excellent advice to all.
Steps to transform the big debate into an educational and beneficial experience:
1 – INVOLVE YOUR KIDS
• Make the trip to the store or farmers market a family outing so kids can see where food really comes from.
• Have your kids work with you to pack lunches the night before. This gives them more control over what goes in and you can’t hear complaints later.
• Talk to them about which new items they liked or didn’t like and what healthy options you might replace them with next time.
• Discuss why you are making these choices and how they will Affect their energy, health and focus during the school day.
2- KEEP IT INTERESTING
• Include at least three food groups in each mean and vary the texture, color and flavors of each item.
• Focus on selecting whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits in vegetables which will provide more nutrients and energy to get them through the day.
3 – IMPROVE ON THE BASICS – SANDWICH, CHIPS, COOKIE & SODA
• Choose whole grain bread, pitas or wraps instead of white bread.
• Non-Cured Organic Turkey sausage instead of hotdogs.
• Almond Butter and Honey with sliced apples instead of PB&J.
• Homemade Egg salad or Hummus it filling and low in fat and chemicals.
• Replace chips with crunchy vegetables or edamame.
• If your kids “need” to have something bubbly, replace high sugar sodas with flavored sparkling water.
4 – ADD NEW VARIETIES
• While on your shopping trips have your kids pick one new fruit or vegetable. Bring them home and taste in different recipes to see what works for them.
• Exposure to new and different flavors younger in life will allow them to be open to trying food from different places and in turn open them to different cultures.
5- CONTROL PORTION SIZE
• Many lunch bags are oversized and allow for them to be stuffed with extra calories. Select bags or plates that are smaller and have different sections to teach portion control.
HintFIZZ – www.drinkhint.com
Lucy’s Cookies – www.drlucys.com
Bobble Lunch Bag – www.waterbobble.com
Justin’s Almond Butter – www.justinsnutbutter.com
Naked Juice and Smoothies – www.nakedjuice.com
Just Strawberries and Bananas – www.justtomatoes.com
Organic Non-Cured Hotdogs – www.applegatefarms.com
Kinder-ville Divided Plates – www.kinder-ville.com