Lunchbox Ideas

Many parents say that one of the biggest challenges of parenthood is getting their kids to eat enough of the right kinds of foods.

In some respects, this is not a surprise. We live in a country in which millions of dollars is spent each year on food advertising, targeted directly at kids, that glamorizes junk food, breakfast cereals, fast food, candy, soda and fruit drinks, most of which is loaded with refined sugar, fat, and/or artifical colors, flavors and preservatives. Is it any wonder that we don't often hear kids in the aisles of the supermarket begging their parents to buy apples and carrots?

Well, the struggle to build a healthy foundation for your kids related to food and nutrition doesn't have to be a losing battle.

Here are a few suggestions to help you and your kids form healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

  1. Set a good example: We can't get around the fact that we are models for many of our kids' behaviors - including and especially eating! So, set a good example for your kids by eating and purchasing the foods you want them to eat.
  2. Appeal to their senses: Kids love colorful foods with interesting textures. On the other hand, some kids dislike foods with strong, overpowering flavors. Other kids don't like mixtures of foods (like casseroles). Try to learn more about your child's preferences, and remember that these preferences are likely to change quickly.
  3. Always offer healthy options: Make sure that each meal and snack includes fruits and vegetables.
  4. Let your kids help: School age kids are curious and energetic. Let them experiment in the kitchen. They will be more interested in food and nutrition if you allow them to help with meal planning and food preparation.

Please see the article on School Age Children in the Special Needs section of our website for more information on nutrition for kids.

This page was updated on: 2002-11-29 22:46:54
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation