Keeping meals exciting and nutritious for preschoolers can sometimes be a challenge. Healthy lunches and snacks are crucial for active children and it is so important to offer children with healthy lunchbox choices.
So, the question remains – What should you pack in your preschooler’s lunchbox?
Appeal to your child’s taste buds by providing them with packed lunches that are easy to eat, full of variety and small in serving size. Adding colour, texture and flavours interests young children and will make snack and lunch times that much more exciting.
Here are some recommendations from our experts on making packed lunches a success!
Make it Fun and Colourful
Pack what your child loves to eat and introduce new flavor subtly. Send in lunchboxes full of colour, by adding a variety of fruits and vegetables. Use sandwich cutters and cookie cutters to add some fun! This is especially helpful for our picky eaters. Don’t be afraid of getting creative!
Use a variety of fillings for sandwiches. Not only will this prevent them from getting bored of eating the same food every day, but it will also add variety to the diet. Choose from a variety of foods like protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables and carbohydrates.
Here is a little bit of information about food groups:
- Carbohydrates are important for children because they are the main source of energy. Examples include rice, pasta, noodles and bread.
- Protein and Fats are an additional source of energy and are important sources of nutrients. Examples are meat, chicken and fish.
- Dairy helps strengthen those little bones, and examples include milk, yogurt and cheese.
A healthy balance comprises of eating across the food groups.
Water – Water and milk are the best drinks for children! Little children tend to be very active, so keeping them hydrated is a must and water is the best go-to for this. Sweet drinks, such as fruit juices are high in sugar and increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Provide children with easy-to-open packaging. Cut food items into bite sized portions, so that children can be independent during mealtimes.
- Growing children do not have the same appetite every day and this variance depends on the amount of activity they have done that day, amongst other things. Don’t worry too much if, every now and then, they don’t finish their lunch.
- As long as children are eating a well-balanced nutritious diet, the odd treat is not a problem.
We understand that finding daily ideas can be difficult at times, but meal inspirations are just a click away.
Here are our two absolute favourite child-friendly food blogs that we recommend to all parents!
One Hungry Mama: website lets you search recipes in a variety of ways, such as by child’s age, by ingredient or even type of meals. The recipes on the blog are all family-friends and strive to help children develop healthy eating habits.
Weelicious: This is another incredible blog that was pulled together by a busy mum of two. It focuses on quick, easy and nutritious recipes that are made using fresh, but minimal ingredients – The perfect fix for a busy family!
Bento Box ideas provide great inspiration for portioning and making food exciting and interesting for all kids. Have some fun and make food interesting.