Wondering how to keep your kids healthy with the new school year? But also keep it simple for you, and enticing for them? We have some tips and tricks that may help ease the pressure for you this time around.
First off, we recommend you involve your kids in the process. Start this by having a conversation with them about it. This will depend on their age in terms of how detailed you get, yet you can start some level of conversation anytime! And just like with ourselves, we can spark curiosity and start asking basic questions like…
- “What are 2 of your favorite proteins?” Or, “Do you like chicken sausages or turkey and hummus better?”
- Then move on to fruit or veggies with, “What are your top 2 favorite fruits?” Or “Can you help me pick out some yummy looking veggies at the store?” (if this is a stretch for you kiddo right now, start first with involving them in the process in the kitchen and exposing them to different options in the store and at the dinner table, keep the pressure off, simply get curious with them)
- After these first 2 baselines, you can pick something as a side – a fat (avocado, nut butter, hummus or nuts/seeds), another fruit or veggie, rice or Siete tortillas, or something fun like Siete Chips or Paleo Puffs. Again – give them options and let them choose from YOUR options. If we give them full freedom (what do you want for lunch?), they may choose goldfish or fruit snacks every time. Yet you know your child best and that phrasing may work for you!
- Lastly, if it’s still a struggle, 1. Remember kids will eat mostly what is kept in your house – you have that control AND it doesn’t have to be rigid. 2. Know that a few processed foods offered by the school or friends isn’t the end of the world, and 3. You can try something new tomorrow or next week – take one day at a time, our interests change. You can also involve them in making the lunch, prepping the food, and also getting creative in how you cut it or pack it. For example, you can get silicone cupcake liners to sort food in and make it look fun. You can cut the food differently (big sticks or little chunks – use a crinkle cutter, or make shapes). You can add a hummus or nut butter to a fruit or veggie, and you can put in random surprise treats and love notes.
Keep it to the basics of whole foods with the 2 biggest categories – protein and a fiber (fruit and/or veggie), and then pick one other item to add on. If your child tends to be pickier, let them choose that one (at home from your options), and surprise them with a hidden treat 1-2x/week! That could be a different chip, a fun cut fruit, a Simple Mills cookie, or a fruit/veggie pouch or Hint Juice box.
If you want ideas on better food brands, shoot us a DM on instagram (@proclivity.co), or email us (email@example.com) and say “Lunch Ideas” – it’s our coveted list of all our favorite kids (and adult) snack & lunch ideas that are full of quality and tasty ingredients.