Children are usually fussy eaters and it is difficult to give them full nutrition all the time. At home you are still able to feed them nutritious food but once they start school it becomes difficult o monitor what and how much they eat. Schools generally advise the parents to not send fast food and packaged food for lunch. but, sometimes due to the morning rush parents often resort to preparing something in a haste or give the child some packaged food. This is ok once in a while but overtimes you should make sure the kid gets full nutrition.
Involve Your Child
No matter how young your child is he or she will always have some food favourites. Sit and talk to them. Tell them what is good for them and why. This builds a trust between the parents and also helps the child understand that food is important. Discussing this will also help you have a better understanding and have more ideas for what you can prepare for them. Whenever you go grocery shopping take your child with you. Get them involved in the cooking process atleast on the weekends. Ask them to peel vegetables and fruits like peas and fruits.
Prepare a Weekly Menu
It is a good idea to create a weekly menu for your kid’s tiffin in advance. Once you know what you are to cook through the week you can go grocery shopping. Take your child with you so they too understand the need to pick up fresh produce and see where their food is coming from. This will also prevent any last minute run to the market for vegetables and fruits.
The Right Box
When it comes to healthy food the choice of lunch box matters a lot. You can use clean plastic boxes to hold fruit but avoid them if you are packaging hot stuff then try and use steel or glass lunch boxes, or use an aluminum foil so that it doesn’t directly touch the box when hot. When packing the food make sure the steam blows off before you shut the lid so that the food doesn’t go bad. It is also important to keep the food separate. Use separate boxes or a tiffin box with compartments so you can add different types of food. You can add salads, fruits, boiled corns or a small treat like a cake or cookie every once in a while.
Experiment and Create
Healthy food does not always look appealing to your child. Be creative and make food look interesting. You can use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches and fruits. This will make the food look attractive and kids will love to have it. Kids don’t often like to eat roti / chapatti with veggies. You can make a roll with veggies and maybe add some ketchup to make the food look tempting. Another way is to create a stuffed paratha with veggies, which takes less time and is appealing to kids as well. This way the vegetables are hidden and it is easier for the kid to eat it also.
Avoid Packaged Food
It is best to keep packaged food out of their lunch boxes. This includes packaged juices as most juices have high sugar content or contain a number of preservatives. If possible, ensure that your child eats the whole fruit. If at all you want them to have juice, make fresh juice at home and avoid giving them for lunch. you can experiment with different types of shakes at home.
Getting your child to eat might be a tough process so don’t get anxious. Remember your childhood days. you might have been equally or averse to the sight of vegetables. Be patient with your child, overtime he/she will pick up new tastes and grow to like healthy food.