As the school bell rings the end of summer, school lunches become part of the daily routine. These five sneaky ways to add fruits and vegetables to school lunches will have kids none the wiser.
Parents often struggle with kids’ food choices. Left to their own devices, kids would happily eat bags of chips, sugar snacks and other less healthy choices. While some kids will begrudgingly eat more fruits and vegetables, parents would prefer less of a food battle. With these five sneaky ways to add fruits and vegetables to school lunches, everyone will stay satisfied till dinner.
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1. Get dipping
Kids, and adults too, love to play with their food. While no one wants the kids to have a food fight, a little fun with their food can make them want to eat it. Offering a dip with their fruit and vegetables can make a huge difference. For example, a container of ranch or hummus for carrots or celery can make that bland vegetable more exciting. For fruit, a creamy yogurt dip offers the same fun. So get to dipping and those fruits and vegetables can be gone in minutes.
2. Hide it
Parents want kids to eat healthy choices. Sometimes it is ok to hide a few extra fruits or vegetables into a lunch box. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can have a few extra whole strawberries hidden into that jelly layer. I have been able to hide about 5 whole strawberries into one sandwich.
3. Drink it
Many companies offer tasty drinks that are full of fruits and vegetables. Some choices have a couple of servings in each bottle. Instead of a sugary filled juice box, try some of the fruit and vegetable drink blends. Many of the choices taste just like the other drinks kids like. Try a few varieties and see which ones the kids like best. One beverage will be a hit.
4. Make it themselves
Sometimes if a child is more involved with making his food, he is more likely to eat it. Get the kids involved with planning their school lunches. From the type of bread for sandwiches to the drinks, the kids need to have a say. If they don’t like the food in the grocery store, they won’t eat it at school. It is better to spend more at the store than for the food to end up in the trash can at school.
5. Variety is the spice of life
No one wants to eat the same food every day. Even kids who enjoy the familiar can get bored with the same thing day in and out. Once a week try a new fruit or vegetable. But, keep it familiar. If your child likes blueberries, try some blackberries. Or if you child loves salad, try adding some butter lettuce to the iceberg lettuce. Remember it takes 12 separate tastes to truly determine if you dislike a particular food.
Get your family ready for the school year. School lunches don’t have to be a battle. With these five sneaky ways to add some more fruit and vegetables to their lunches, the kids will be on their way to some healthier choices.