“You are what you eat!”
In the modern era of processed food commercials and junk food home delivery options, parents have to make a constant effort to get their child to eat nutritious food. Healthy food habits in the early stages of life play a vital role in the psychological and physical development of the child. Your child hasn’t inherited the ‘love for macaroni and cheese’ or is born inclined towards ‘supersonic fudge ice-cream’. Due to societal and peer pressure, and even parental conditioning, the child ends up getting attracted to carbs, sugar and all things unhealthy. It is important to control the child’s eating habits from the very beginning.
Some children are fussy eaters and they refuse to eat their lunches. To make such children fall in love with their school lunch, here are five ways to get creative with their lunch packs:
1) Make their lunch interesting
Go the extra mile to make the treat appear appealing. If your children like the way it looks, chances are that they’ll like how it tastes. Turn the rice into their favorite mammal and cut up shapes using vegetables. Every day can be a different theme!
2) Increase the options
Don’t just stick to one menu for the children. At their stage, they’re bound to get bored with the same lunch every day. Try healthy alternatives for their favorite treats and ask them what they want for lunch the day before. The sense of having the authority to choose will make them feel important and they’ll be more inclined towards finishing their lunch.
3) Make the children feel loved
We know that you love your child, it’s now time to show it! Sneak in hand-written notes so that a smile appears on your child’s face. A mid-day reminder that they’re loved will make them have a happy day!
4) Try portion control
If your child is cranky and refuses to open the lunchbox unless it has candies or his favorite junk food inside, try portion control. Get tiny boxes and fill them with healthy options and include your child’s weakness in one box. If you can’t start by eliminating the edible, you can start by limiting its quantity!
5) Customize their lunch boxes
Learn your child’s likes and dislikes. A mom found out that her son refused to eat lunch not because of what was inside, but because of what was outside. She had gotten pink lunch boxes for her girls and her little boy and the boy felt ‘ashamed’ of it. Understand that your child at such a young and vulnerable age has to fit in. Take your child lunch-box shopping!
Hakeem’s Advice: Remember, the way to making this a win-win situation for both you and the child, you can also try conditioning the child by rewarding positive behavior. For example: finishing your greens, gives you extra screen time! Gobbling those baby carrots earns you an éclair!
If your child’s eating habits are causing him/her to gain excessive weight, to shed pounds or hindering his/her abilities to observe and learn, it is important to consult a good doctor.
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