How Do I Make My Kid Eat a Complete Lunch at School?

eat-complete-lunch-at-school

School is a time when kids begin to make independent choices about their lifestyles. It’s high time to discuss and promote nutritious food habits. As parents, ensuring that our children eat a complete and nutritious lunch at school is a common concern.

With busy schedules and the influence of peers, getting kids to make healthy food choices can be a challenge. However, with a few strategic approaches and a bit of creativity, you can help your child develop good eating habits that will benefit them in the long run.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some effective tips to ensure your kid enjoys a well-rounded lunch at school.

Involve Your Child in Meal Planning:

One effective way to get your child excited about their lunch is to involve them in meal planning. Sit down together and discuss the types of foods they enjoy. Brainstorm ideas for a balanced meal that includes a variety of food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. Allowing them to have a say in what goes into their lunchbox empowers them to make healthier choices.

Create Colourful and Appealing Lunches:

Children are naturally drawn to bright and colourful foods. Use this to your advantage by incorporating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into their lunch. Cut fruits into fun shapes or arrange veggies in a visually appealing way. When the lunch looks attractive, your child is more likely to be excited about eating it.

Offer a Variety of Options:

Avoid monotony by providing a diverse range of foods. A variety of options not only ensures that your child gets a mix of nutrients but also keeps their taste buds engaged. To keep your meals appealing, prepare foods in new ways, like skewers, salads, or wraps. Make sure you mix in a variety of flavours and nutrients by rotating through the different elements.

Make Healthy Foods Fun:

Modifying healthy foods into fun and appealing snacks can make a significant difference. Try using cookie cutters to create interesting shapes, arranging food in a bento box, or creating food skewers. Adding a bit of creativity to the presentation can make a big difference. For example, instead of cutting your child’s sandwich into four squares, consider cutting it into triangles.

Communicate with Teachers:

Maintain open communication with the school teachers to understand their lunchtime routine. Find out if there are any restrictions or guidelines regarding food in the classroom. By staying informed, you can tailor your child’s lunch to fit within the school’s policies while still providing a nutritious meal.

A Healthy Lunchbox: Why It’s Important?

A healthy lunchbox packed with fresh food provides your child with the energy they need to play, concentrate, and learn all day. As parents, the choices we make when packing our children’s lunch can significantly impact their physical and mental development.

Depending on your child’s age, you should pack different items in their lunchbox. Additionally, the amount you pack in your child’s lunchbox depends on how hungry they are and how long their day will last.

Children who attend preschool, daycare, or school for six hours a day, for instance, might need to pack lunch and breakfast.

Creating Healthy School Lunch Ideas

Here are some examples of how you could put together your child’s lunch using the earlier framework. Keep in mind that the amounts and portions may change depending on your child’s age. By prioritising a balance of food groups and making the lunch experience enjoyable, you contribute to your child’s overall well-being. Consider the following school lunch box examples:

Example 1: Vegetable Upma with Coconut Chutney

  • Consider upma made with semolina and mixed vegetables.
  • Coconut chutney on the side for a burst of flavour.
  • A mix of diced melons or berries for a sweet relish.

Example 2: Vegetable Biryani Bowl

  • Fragrant vegetable biryani made with basmati rice, mixed vegetables, and aromatic spices.
  • Raita (yoghurt with cucumber and mint) on the side.
  • Fresh fruit, such as sliced mango or pomegranate seeds.

Example 3: Aloo Paratha Rolls

  • Aloo paratha (potato-stuffed flatbread) rolled and sliced into bite-sized pieces.
  • Tamarind chutney or mint-coriander chutney for dipping.
  • Sliced apples or oranges as a refreshing side.

Example 4:Sprouts Salad with Chaat Masala

  • Sprouted moong dal or mixed bean salad with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Sprinkle chaat masala and a squeeze of lemon for added flavour.
  • A side of pomegranate seeds or sliced kiwi for freshness.

Example 5: Masoor Dal Rice Bowl

  • Masoor dal (red lentil curry) served with steamed basmati rice.
  • A side of mixed vegetable sabzi (stir-fried veggies) for added nutrients.
  • Sliced pineapple or grapes for a sweet touch.

Example 6: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • Whole grain bread with a layer of spiced mashed potatoes.
  • Place a mix of shredded cheeses like paneer and mozzarella for a masala grilled cheese experience.
  • Include small fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes.

Example 7: Vegetarian Frankie Rolls:

  • Frankie rolls stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage, and onions.
  • Mint-coriander chutney or tangy tamarind sauce for dipping.
  • A small portion of sliced watermelon or guava.

Example 8: Rajma (Kidney Bean) Salad

  • Rajma salad with kidney beans, diced tomatoes, onions, and coriander.
  • Quinoa or couscous as a side for added variety.
  • A serving of yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.

Example 9: Vegetarian Noodle Stir-Fry

  • Vegetable noodle stir-fry with tofu or mixed vegetables.
  • Light soy or teriyaki sauce for seasoning.
  • A side of sliced mango or papaya.

Example 10: Dhokla Sandwiches

  • Dhokla (steamed chickpea flour cakes) sandwiches with mint chutney.
  • Thinly sliced cucumber and radishes for crunch.
  • A serving of mixed fruit salad.

Important! Adjust the spice levels according to your child’s preference, and ensure that the lunch box is well-balanced with a combination of grains, vegetables, and proteins.

Keeping Food Fresh and Safe

Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before packing your child’s lunchbox. Ensure that the cutting board and utensils are dry and clean.

Additionally, be sure to verify the expiration date on products like milk and yoghurt. If you’re packing a warm item, such as soup, cook it up in the morning and store it in a thermos; it’ll still be warm at lunchtime. For added fibre, include a wholemeal or multigrain bread roll.

What’s More?

To provide healthful and attractive school lunches for our children, it is clear that diversity is the key. While parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s dietary habits, institutions like EuroKids can be valuable partners in this journey.

In partnership with EuroKids, parents can rest assured that their child is not only receiving quality education but is also being encouraged to make healthy food choices. By promoting a positive and interactive environment, EuroKids contributes not only to academic development but also to the overall well-being of the child.