It’s that time of year when your children are off to school and you can’t always be sure what they are eating at lunch or when a snack attack hits. A good practice is to pack some nutritious snacks in their backpacks or school bags for when they have those afternoon crashes and need to reach for something for a boost of energy.
Easy and Basic Go-to Snacks
The no-fail snack option is to have small containers with 2 to 4 compartments in them. Or, use snack-size resealable Ziploc bags. These both work well to give your children options. Kids are picky eaters and they change their minds often as they mature. So, provide a small variety for them to choose from.
For your compartmented containers or baggies, these are some standard items to include. Keep in mind that the snacks are kept at room temperature so choose foods that can last several hours.
Make good use of the bulk section of your market. You can find good deals and some great pre-made snack mixes. Also, buy some mini bottled water. As suggested by the Government of Canada nutrition website, children need to drink plenty of water to replenish fluids. You need to remind them of this by adding a bottle of water to their backpacks.
Recipes for the Adventurous
If you have the time, try to make some creative and healthy snacks for your children to take along. Consider asking them to help you make these. They may be more likely to try something they had a hand in creating.
Drop by Famous Foods, where you can find produce, meats & cheeses, healthy packaged foods, and bulk items for all your back to school snack ingredients.
Most parents have faced this scenario: After a long day, you prepare a meal for your family, only to discover that your child refuses to take a bite. Picky eating is a widespread problem, with many parents feeling frustrated over their children’s eating habits. Fortunately, there are ways to help your child try new foods while incorporating healthy ingredients. Here’s how:
When your child only eat a handful of foods, it’s easy to call him or her a “picky eater.” However, using that label for your child may cause him or her to internalize that behaviour, which can lead to more pickiness. Instead, try to take a positive approach when asking your child to try new things. Encourage your child to try a food several times as he or she learns to enjoy it.
Anyone who’s visited a grocery store knows that many foods are catered to kids’ picky palates, and you may find yourself breaking out the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets when your child refuses to eat dinner. However, making “special” meals for your children may reinforce their picky behaviour. If your child argues with you, don’t engage – simply inform your child that the food you’ve prepared is the only option.
Combining healthy foods with items your child already enjoys is a great way to sneak in vitamins and nutrients. For example, macaroni and cheese is a kid-friendly favourite that can be made healthier with pureed squash or pumpkin. You can also experiment with different spices and flavourings to make food more appealing to children, like orange zest on vegetables or cinnamon on sliced fruit.
Learning to eat a variety of foods is much like learning to read – it can be taught in a fun way. Try letting your children help when shopping at the grocery store or preparing meals, which can make them more interested in trying new foods. Many grocery stores even offer children’s cooking classes, which allow your child to socialize while learning about new foods.
Remember, picky eating is not a personality trait and doesn’t often become permanent. Children’s eating habits can be erratic, so patience is key when helping your child discover new foods. With patience and a bit of fun, your child may become an adventurous eater in no time.