August 7 is just around the corner, and you know what that means: back to school! As your child settles in to a new routine, remember to fuel his or her body and mind with wholesome, healthy foods. Whether you’ve got a first grader or a junior in high school, a balanced lunch provides the much-needed nutrition to sustain your kiddo for the entire day.
Here are a few tips to ensure your child’s lunch is a hit:
Kid’s choice: We’ve all been there—you made the effort to provide a healthy lunch, but the lunch box comes home nearly full. Avoid this by letting your child choose his or her own food (with your guidance, of course!). Using the chart at ChooseMyPlate.gov, make a list of healthy foods by category (fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, and protein) and have your kiddo select an item from each category. This small bit of control may make a big difference in his or her lunchtime intake.
Hands-on helpers: Have you ever noticed that food tastes better when you’ve made it yourself? Why not offer that experience to your child? Young children can help prepare their own lunches by bagging items like crackers and carrots. Older kids can build their own sandwiches and gain exposure to invaluable cooking skills like slicing and chopping. A sneaky side benefit of this hands-on approach is that children learn accountability.
Presentation matters: Who says food presentation is only for Michelin-starred restaurants? A little goes a long way in enticing your child to eat a nutritious lunch. Consider Bento boxes or reusable baggies to assemble visually pleasing meals, or make fun-shaped finger foods with cookie cutters (think “butterfly” sandwiches or “star” pineapple pieces). Get creative and have fun with it! Your child will appreciate the effort.
A colorful, whole-foods lunch is a healthy one, and it’s so important that young bodies and minds are fortified for full days at school. Take pleasure in knowing you’re setting your child up for success. Good luck on August 7!
Terrain is a lifestyle-centered community located in awe-inspiring Castle Rock. With access to renowned schools in the Douglas County School District, students receive a world-class education as they become lifelong learners. Visit us today and learn why families choose to grow at Terrain.