Now that the summer’s over and kids are back to school, we slowly ease back into our usual daily routines. As mums, it can be difficult to juggle household chores, looking after the other little ones and also packing a healthy lunch for our kids, especially if they are picky eaters. Making a packed lunch for your little one is no easy job. It requires a lot of time and thought, and it’s also difficult to actually pack something your child will eat. It is very important your child gets the necessary nutrients he/she needs during their time at school so they can be prepared for learning. Here are 5 tips I use to prepare a healthy lunch for my kids.
1 – Make it fun with your kids
Kids love being given responsibility. This is why it’s always great to get them involved when packing their lunches. Use kebab sticks like this from Amazon and create fun fruit sticks, veg sticks or anything else they fancy. Also, you can shape their foods into some artistic shapes and use fun colours. Prepping food, the night before with your kids can be a great bonding session. Kids are also more likely to eat their food when they prepare them!
2 – Make your snacks yourself
Kids love snacks, and they are also very important for their energy. Making snacks yourself can be great compared to buying them, as they are much lower in sugar, salt and saturated fats. Here are a few examples you can use which I love:
- Chocolate chip energy bites
- Rainbow fruit skewers
- Healthy flapjacks
3 – Make sure your kids are having a balanced diet
Kids need to eat a balanced diet to get all the nutrients they need. Using foods from different food groups is essential when packing your child’s lunch. Using the "Eatwell Guide" can help you visualise all the foods your child needs as well as giving great advice on what foods to include. Use your imagination and make smart alternatives to the food they may refuse. If your child doesn’t like porridge, maybe make flapjacks which are a great alternative. Apples can be made into apple chips and the possibilities are endless; be smart, be creative.
4 – Make sure your child is drinking lots and lots of water.
Kids should be drinking around 1.5 litres of water a day; more if they are being more active or the weather is warmer. Allow your child to choose their own bottle to promote them to drink water. Also, make it a challenge. Your kids are more likely to drink their water if you make it into a fun game. Say things like “try and drink your whole water bottle while you’re at school” to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids. Also avoid sugary drinks as these can cause kids to get tooth decay, diabetes and can also cause obesity. furthermore, be careful to pack them lots of water. You can make it sweeter and more fun by allowing them to choose and slice fruit themselves that they can add to their water bottles.
5 – Be a role model.
The best way for you to encourage your children to eat well is to eat well yourself. Your kids will follow your footsteps. When they see you eating fruits and veg, and also avoiding packaged pre-prepared snacks and meals, they are more likely to do the same. You should also promote portion control. For example, saying things like “I feel full” or “I don’t want to eat too much” can teach your child portion control from a young age. Always be careful to speak positively about yourself, try not to say things like “I feel fat” as this can rub off on your child too. Keep positive energy and encourage that positivity in your children.
So, what are your tips and recommendations? Let me know in the comments below. I always love and welcome engaging with my followers. Also, if you don't already, follow me on Instagram and tag @hooyoshouse in your pics, or share using the hashtag #hooyos_house.
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