Healthy lunch ideas that work Iqaluit NU
Healthy lunch ideas that work
By Alyssa Rolnick, RD
(NC)-Whether your kids eat at home or school, making nutritious lunches that your kids will eat is a challenge. Below are some tips, to help make preparing and packing lunches more rewarding.
Provide a variety
Try to include foods from all four food groups from Canada's Food Guide (vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives). Using a variety of foods and making different combinations keep lunches interesting. In my experience, these foods work well:
• Carrot sticks, red pepper slices, canned baby corn, an apple, canned fruit packed in its own juices.
• Grains such as whole-wheat pita bread, bagel, naan, bannock, tortilla, crackers, pasta, brown rice.
• Lower-fat milk, yogurt, cheese.
• Tuna, salmon, egg, chicken, lean deli-meats, hummus (chickpea spread), beans.
Sandwiches day in and day out can become boring. Try mixing it up with these foods instead:
• Pumpernickel, seven-grain, crusty rolls, flat breads or crackers. To get your kids to eat whole grain breads, make an "Oreo" sandwich - a white slice of bread on top and a darker bread on the bottom.
• Sandwich fillings such as avocado, egg salad with grated carrots and celery, sliced roast beef with tomatoes and dressing, or a meatball sandwich.
Pack it properly
Kids can become easily turned off eating packed lunches if sandwiches are soggy, drinks have spilled and fruit is smashed. Try these helpful hints to make the lunch more appealing:
• Send tomato slices or other watery fruit and vegetables in a separate container and have your children add them to their sandwiches just before eating.
• If using drink cups, make sure they have secured closures. And remind your kids to close them before putting them back in their lunch bags.
• Pre-cut or place whole fruit in containers to protect them from getting bruised. Make eating fruit easier for your little ones by making a small cut into banana stems for easier peeling or pack bit sized pieces of fruit like pineapple and melons.
• Use a thermos to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Pack a frozen drink that will melt by lunchtime or use an ice pack.
Surprise your child
Kids love surprises. Here are some ideas to get them looking forward to lunch:
• Send a note, a sticker or a little something fun in your child's bag.
• Pack your child's favourite treat every once in a while - a chocolate heart, a special cupcake or two-bite brownie.
Alyssa Rolnick, RD, is the Heart and Stroke Foundation's nutrition columnist, with a specialty in children's nutrition.
For more healthy lunch ideas or health information visit, healthcheck.org.