If you are wondering how to get picky eaters to eat something other than the same PB&J, ham sandwich, and the like, this is the right post for you!
One of the concerns from parents with our picky eaters is whether the child is getting enough nutrition -and not just at dinner, but at school too! While packing lunches can seem like a daunting task, many parents resort to packing the same things daily “just to get their child to eat something.”
It’s important to understand the importance of teaching our kids how to eat a variety of foods that add nutrition, rather than getting our kids to eat something and supplementing the nutrition.
What most parents don’t know is that the lunchbox can be a great way to introduce NEW Foods to our kids! They are already at the best place to be receptive of something new: at school, in a no pressure environment, surrounded by friends who eat other things!
Below are 5 kid favorites and I’ll share how I went from a plain ham sandwich daily to sending the following to school.
Let’s do this!
Kid Fav: The Pizza Lunch
First, let’s stick with something we have all given our kids, that isn’t a nugget, PIZZA! Kids love pizza in our house, and I would rather feed my kids pizza than nuggets when out and about for a few reasons: it’s not fried, it has some veggies, and they can get it how they like.
We start out with plain pizza, and little by little you add veggies onto it. Sure, some might get picked off, but for the most part, it teaches kids that pizza will have other things than just cheese. Start slow, build on that.
Added Protein: Eggs
Ok, so your kid will not eat a hard boiled egg. Something about biting into the “white circle” and the like -the reason I got at my house. So I used the egg and turned it into different things, like egg salad, chopped it up, added a sauce…
By changing the texture of the original “add a hard boiled egg” idea into a lunchbox, all the sudden eggs became tolerable to eat, and they taste good!
Added Fruits & Veggies: The Portable Smoothie
If you think smoothies are just to enjoy right from the blender, think again. Smoothies are a great way to add nutrition to any school lunch, all you have to do is pack it in the lunchbox.
This way, if all they eat is the smoothie, then you can rest easy knowing that they have had something full of nutrition.
Using Up Leftovers While Adding Nutrition
Kids love pizza, and they love pasta, so why not combine them, right? Sending a “pizza pasta salad” will fill their hungry bellies while giving you the opportunity to include new “toppings,” like veggies, in the pasta.
Most parents assume that the kid will pick them out, and they might, but you never know if your child’s best friend brought broccoli for lunch too that day and now, all the sudden, broccoli doesn’t seem so yucky.
Reinvent the Classic with Better Ingredients
It’s true; kids want to eat colorful foods like the ones their friends bring to school. Enter the store bought lunch (a Lunchable). Kids beg for them and parents buy them for the convenience even though they wish the ingredients were better.
Why not make your own with ingredients you select all while pleasing your kids? There is nothing wrong with sending a little rolled up ham, real cheddar cheese, whole grain crackers, added fruits, and veggies, inside a lunch box. It’s fresh, it takes 2 minutes to make, and it has the same items as the store bought one. Win-win!
Yes, kids are funny, and they often have picky eating years that are tough on us parents. The most important thing is to not give up introducing new foods to them. Do this by adding variety to their lunchboxes and mixing up foods they like and are familiar with, with the new ones. You’ve got this!