Growing healthy bodies and brains in our children
School lunches could use some improvement, no doubt! Parents can get involved by planting a school garden and teaching nutrition classes to the children at their school.
I came up with these side-by-side lunches so parents could actually see the kind of food kids are being fed in schools. This will give you a good idea of the lack of nutrition school lunch gives a child, and how empowered you can become when creating healthy school lunches for your own children.
A word on picky eaters…
There are many school lunch blogs and YouTube videos for picky eaters, and I can’t say I support them. Processed and packaged food items are still abundant in kids’ lunchboxes including juice. I have a very picky child myself but I choose not to enable that behavior by giving juice, or other junky stuff. It took some time, but she is now eating her lunches every single day. Her eyes and skin are glowing and the best part is I don’t have to supplement her nutrition with lots of extra vitamins and what not because she’s getting all she needs from food. While you will see a couple of processed food items here and there, I’ve tried to almost cut them out completely.
The Number One Mistake…
The number one mistake parents make when it comes to picky eaters is assuming your child won’t eat what you serve. Most likely you’ll look through some of my photos and say “My kid would never eat that”. If I had a penny for every time that thought crossed my mind, I’d be rich. But guess what? I serve it anyways and I have to say, about 80% of the time, they eat it. I still have work to do to make up for the other 20%, but trust me, they’ll eat. They may not eat it the first few times you offer, but as you clear your house of the junk food and stock it with fresh fruits and vegetables, hummus and crackers, greek yogurt, your child will find things to eat. We as humans are wired to survive. At this point it’s a matter of changing their palettes. They’ll love the way they feel once they switch over for a few months.
Always pack water for your kids. This is by far the best beverage for their growing bodies!
Try offering incentives
At first, when switching to clean lunches, you may need to offer some kind of incentive for the child. A reward at the end of the week for having eaten their lunch (or at least tasting everything). I offer a bowling or movie night sometimes at the end of the week for empty lunch boxes at the end of each day.
I have unlimited ideas of foods you can come up with to help your child thrive. Keep checking back in!
Here’s a quick video if you don’t want to scroll through.
Organic whole grain bread pb sandwich, garlic hummus with carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes
Lots and Lots of options here: Corn chips, dried mango, pumpkin seeds, cherry tomatoes, salami, pita bread, carrots, freeze dried strawberries, organic animal crackers, tuna salad with multigrain crackers, olives, apples, baby pickles, yogurt with pomegranate seeds, quesadilla, rice, corn…
Fresh strawberries, Rotisserie chicken, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, multi-grain tortilla chips
Tortilla chips, Elk summer sausage, white cheddar cheese, snap peas, twice fried plantains in coconut oil
Pistachios, homemade fruit roll-up (no sugar added), whole-grain organic Peanut butter and honey sandwich
Pickle, Chocolate rice cake with organic peanut butter, carrot sticks, strawberries
Dark Chocolate walnuts, pistachios, sweet baby bell peppers, string cheese, fortune cookie
Carrots, celery with chocolate peanut butter, Elk summer sausage, pistachios
Pepperoni, rice crackers, babybel cheese, strawberries, yellow bell pepper slices