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School Lunch Ideas for Preschoolers

Preparing lunch for your school going kid can be one of the most difficult jobs for moms and dads. Children are invariably picky when it comes to food, and it becomes a challenge to balance their nutritional requirements with fare that they will actually eat. Here are some tips on healthy school lunch ideas for kids to help you out. Young children like to play, and if eating their food is seen as a fun activity, they will be more likely to finish up their lunch. A good tip for school lunch ideas for preschoolers is to make the food seem colorful.
Using lots of brightly colored vegetables in their meals is a good idea. Some healthy lunch ideas for kindergarten include peanut butter sandwiches with a bowl of fruit, burgers and sandwiches made from homemade ingredients and wholegrain bread, or crunchy salads. Do include a cup of yogurt as dessert. Your kid will not only love this but it is also good for his/her digestive system. As your children become slightly older and recognize shapes, cutting the food into different fun shapes helps. For example, you can cut up the vegetables in a salad into different animal shapes so that your children can have fun with their food while they eat it. Make up fun games with the food so that your youngster associates eating with fun.

High School Lunch Ideas

If you thought kindergarten was tough, wait until your young ones reach high school. Teenagers are very concerned about their image, and sometimes, eating a homemade meal can be perceived as ‘uncool’. Getting your adolescent son or daughter to carry and eat homemade lunches at school is going to take a bit of tact and persuasion. Fortunately, in a world that is increasingly health conscious, the health angle is one that can be used successfully with many children. Make your kids understand the importance of healthy school lunch ideas and try to get them involved in the decision and food preparation process. As this is a stage when your kids want to become more independent, involving them in the process will actually make it easier for you to convince them to stick to their meals. Healthy school lunch ideas for teenagers include sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pastas, and salads. Stick to low fat and healthy meat products such as turkey, chicken, and fish. Include a lot of green vegetables in the sandwiches. Stick to wholegrain breads when preparing lunches for your kids. If your child is willing to experiment with new things, try out healthy and easy school lunch ideas for from different cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Greek, or Italian. If your child prefers a more standard fare, respect his or her preferences. Get your child to help you with preparing the lunches, or get him/her to go shop for the ingredients. Ask your child what he/she would prefer to eat and try to prepare healthy meals keeping your child’s wishes in mind.

School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

If your child is a picky eater, there may have been many a time when you have felt like tearing your hair out in frustration. Selecting the right school lunch ideas for picky eaters is especially tricky, because unlike when they are at home, you cannot control whether they actually eat their food or dump it in the trash bin. Once again, this is a situation that can easily be resolved with a bit of tact and understanding. Instead of forcing food down your child’s throat, try to find out what sort of food your child prefers and then try to prepare meals based on these preferences. If your child prefers junk food such as burgers, pizzas, or pasta, this does not mean that you allow him or her to eat junk. At the same time trying to force a grilled chicken down his or her throat is going to put you in a no-win situation. Instead, prepare burgers, pizzas, or pasta for your kids at home. However, substitute the unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones. For example, if your child likes burgers, make them at home. Use wholegrain buns instead of normal burger buns and use healthy meats options to make the fillings. Go easy on the cheese, or use low fat cheese. Add a lot of green vegetables and tomatoes to the burger. In this way, your child will get to eat the sort of meal that he or she prefers but will not be nutritionally compromised.

Good School Lunch Ideas

Any lunch that you prepare for your kid should contain all the basic macronutrients that are required by the body. These include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Healthy kids school lunch ideas should incorporate all these nutritional elements. Let us figure out how to do so. Healthy sources of proteins include lean meats such as fish, chicken and turkey. Avoid red meat such as beef, lamb, or pork. Eggs are another excellent source of protein that can be readily incorporated into most kids’ lunch ideas for school. Vegetarian school lunch ideas that have protein include ingredients such as milk and other dairy products and tofu. Legumes are also good sources of proteins and peanut butter is one of the most readily available sources of vegetarian protein. Kids need sufficient carbs to supply their body’s demands for energy. The trick is to make sure that they get sufficient quantities of healthy carbs in the form of wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice, and oatmeal.

Healthy school lunch ideas for kids should include sufficient quantities of the required vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Make sure that your kids’ meals include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Substitute sodas and other aerated beverages with healthy fresh fruit juices. Now that you have all the basics in place, all it takes is a little bit of planning and effort to ensure that your kids’ school lunches are healthy and fun to eat.

Submitted on January 16, 2014