Fun Food: Filling Your Kids’ Lunchbox the Right Way
With so many snack options on the market, including the fun-sized chocolate and sweet packets, it can be difficult to find lunch items which fit the nutritional bill but still make your children happy. In fact, only only 1 in 100 lunchboxes actually meet the standard for nutrition which children should have.
Nelly Edwards, brand manager at Suso says: “We believe parents shouldn’t have to look so hard for good-tasting products which provide their children will the added nutrition and goodness they need. That is why our products are made of 60% fruit juice, giving your kids one of their five a day.”
Here, we will explore some additional ways you can upgrade your kid’s lunchboxes for both better taste and health value.
Plan in advance
Packing your kid’s lunchboxes can be stressful in the morning, especially if you are also having to run around finding lost socks and school books in the process. One way to ease this worry in the mornings is to be prepared beforehand and plan out what you are going to pack. This involves having all the ingredients organised for the next morning if the meal does have to be prepared close to packing, or preparing a batch of cooking at the weekend, ready to serve up.
Preparing meals at the weekend to use throughout your weekday lunchboxes can also give you a wider variety of food to offer. By meal prepping, you can establish regular meals that your children enjoy taking to school, as well as having the opportunity to educate them on cooking if you make it a family activity. This can also be a money-saving measure, reducing the likelihood of you reaching for those costly additional snacks. You can also make extra food the night before and use this for the next day’s lunch.
If you decide to prepare your food with your children, this can help teach them vital skills they will need as they grow up. Not only is it good for the gross motor skills of young children, but even teenagers can benefit from cooking and safety skills within the kitchen.
Nutritional snacks and drinks
Your child’s lunchbox could be the start of a good relationship with food, so making sure there are healthy and well-balanced items within is important for your child’s exposure to food. Instead of being nervous what they might find, you child should be excited to try new things. Consider exploring flavour groups your child enjoys and expanding their snack and drink selection.
You still want your child to eat enough during school, so making sure they have food they like alongside a small snack which can push them outside of their comfort zone could be the best option. For example, you can try one of our fizzy drink alternatives which allows your kid the comfort of a sparkling drink while they explore new flavours and get the nutrition they need.
Up the excitement factor
Packing your kid’s lunchbox shouldn’t be a chore. If you are finding it boring and tedious, your children are likely finding the food the same. And with so many fun options to play around with, you could be having fun when it comes to making their food the night before. In fact, TikTok has seen a large trend in “mumfluencers” packing their children’s lunchboxes on video. Accounts such as @sulheejessica have gained 5.7 million followers from this alone, with her inspiring and intriguing recipes and decorations being something to marvel at.
From fun movie-inspired rice balls to television-star shaped sandwiches, your lunchboxes don’t have to be boring. And these can be created with minimal effort, simply by focusing on colours, shapes, and textures to create your kid’s favourite characters out of food. And you don’t have to make them alone – why not get your kids to decorate a pizza with vegetables in the shape of their favourite ninja turtle during the weekend, perfect for a lunchtime meal.
And @sulheejessica isn’t the only mum taking to TikTok to show off her incredible creations. Others include:
@winnyhaynes, with 1.6 million followers
@adalynnslunchbox, with 1.4 million followers
@ross_ini, with 469,500 followers.
Getting nutrition into your children’s lunchboxes without overtly offering them vegetables can be difficult. Some might disregard the vegetables automatically, leaving them left mushy in the bottom of their lunchbox for you to find the next day. And it is no surprise children have always battled with vegetables, in fact, nearly half of UK children don’t believe they actually eat vegetables. So how do you get that nutritional value up without finding mushed-up broccoli left behind?
Finding versatile foods which can easily hide vegetables is your best option. Food items such as pasta and pizza sauces can be the perfect red base to hide the hidden vitamins and minerals. From blended peppers and broccoli to pureed carrots, pasta cause can disguise the taste and texture of blended fruit and vegetables. For your fussiest children who might discover something is different, you can distract their tastebuds with a mixture of cream cheese thrown in! Other foods include spinach-loaded brownies, with the chocolate hiding the leafy greens.
The best way to encourage healthy eating habits is by being honest about the vegetables you are feeding your children, allowing them to make their decisions to eat healthy foods, and encouraging healthy palates. However, hidden fruit and vegetables are a good last resort to ensure your children are getting the nutrition they need when all else fails.