Children can be picky eaters. Coming up with school lunch menu ideas that are healthy and will be eaten can be challenging. Spending a little extra time on making healthy fun lunches for children is worth the effort when they gobble down their meal without complaints.
Lunch At Home:
Home school lunch menu ideas may be easier than making sack lunches for public school. At home, children can paint their lunch using yogurt, pudding and soft cheese. They can build their own sandwiches from shapes of meat, cheese and bread or fruit, crackers, cheese or peanut butter. Allowing a child to be involved in making their lunch is occasionally all it takes to get them to eat a healthy meal. Using cream cheese or peanut butter children can fish for crackers, grapes or slivers of vegetables. Pretzel stick fishing rods with a glob of soft food on one end can be used to ‘catch’ their lunch. Lunchmeat in fish shapes can also be used, as can celery or carrot stick fishing rods.
Sack Lunch Ideas:
If your child is in school, lunch menu ideas can include sandwiches shaped by using cookie cutters. Using food color to change the color of soft cheese, yogurt or pudding is another creative idea. Using disposable containers, lunch at school can be fun using the same items mentioned above to fish for their lunch.
Cutting an apple width wise reveals a star shape. Enclosing a small card showing a picture of parent and child with a star lets the child know they are loved. Self-esteem is important and using every opportunity to reinforce their self-esteem is important for a child’s development.
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Children are not adults, and while they require the same variation of foods as adults, they are not capable of eating the same quantity. School lunch menu ideas have to be creative in order for children to eat a well balanced diet.
Children under five need about 1300 calories per day to stay healthy. These calories should come from fruit, vegetables, protein and whole grains. The difficulty is trying to get small children to eat the different foods their bodies need.
Using small tortillas is one way to help a child eat healthy foods. Even young children can “make their own” burrito using peanut butter or soft cheese with vegetables, meats or fruits inside. Dipping sauces made with yogurt are more nutritious and a great way to get them to eat raw vegetables.
Daycare and Preschool:
Daycare and preschool facilities should provide nutritious meals and snacks. Before enrolling your child, check to see that snacks and balanced meals are available.
Some children are allergic to certain foods and any food allergies should be known to every employee of the facility. Variety should also be included in a childcare meal menu. Eating the same lunch every Monday would be boring for anyone, especially preschoolers. Innovative school lunch menus demonstrate that a childcare facility is genuinely concerned about their students.
School lunch menu ideas do not have to be tasteless, boring meals. Whether at home or in school there are many healthy options available.