How To: Pack nutritious lunches your kids will eat

Pack nutritious lunches your kids will eat

Does your child always come home with a full lunch box? Most likely they don't like what you've been packing. Give your children's brown bag lunch a healthy punch – one they won't trade away!

You Will Need:
• Your child's opinion
• Flexibility
• Flavored milk
• Dips
• Decorative toothpicks
• An insulated lunch bag (optional)

Step 1: Get them involved
Get your child involved in lunch planning and preparation. Kids are more apt to eat a meal if they've been allowed some input.

Step 2: Be flexible
Be flexible about what constitutes lunch. If your child prefers breakfast foods, let them take whole-grain cereal & chopped fruit & nuts, or hard-boiled eggs & turkey sausage.

Step 3: Pack flavored milk
Pack flavored milk; research shows children are more likely to drink it over the plain stuff. And even though it adds sugar to your child's diet, some studies indicate that flavored milk drinkers do not consume more sugar or fat than plain milk drinkers.

Step 4: Include dips
If you're packing raw vegetables, include a tasty dip, like low-fat Ranch dressing, salsa, or hummus. Studies show kids will eat almost anything if they can dip it into something tasty. Let your child choose the vegetables & encourage them to try new ones. Include some fancy toothpicks so they can spear & dip.

Step 5: Focus on presentation
Make the food look appetizing by including fruits & vegetables in vibrant colors and cutting them into eye-pleasing shapes. A kid who turns up their nose at a carrot stick might eat carrot curls.

Step 6: Rethink the sandwich
Rethink the traditional sandwich. See if your child will eat their tuna salad between hearts of Romaine, inside a red pepper boat, or on celery stalks.

Step 7: Don't force any foods
Don't bother packing foods you know your child won't eat; they'll just get traded or thrown away. Make it your mission to give them the most nutritious alternatives they will devour.

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