Starting school is one of the big milestones parents prepare for. We pick the school carefully, we prepare the school materials, we even make sure that the uniforms are properly washed and ironed. But, do we give the same attention to what food we let our children eat while in school?
Children, once they set foot in grade school, usually spend more of their waking time in school than they do at home, and that’s a fact. With most schools averaging 7 hours a day, including lunch hour, our children eat up to 70% of their food in school. Unfortunately, we are now in a time where 90-95% of our kids’ school baon is something instant. Chips, tetra pack “juices”, instant bread snacks, etc. Even the lunch meal is usually made from something instant like hotdogs, chicken nuggets, etc.
The question is, how does one fix an unhealthy lunchbox?
- Everything starts at home You want your kids to eat the healthy baon you packed? Then make sure your child is used to it. This means being consistent when it comes to what you feed your child. You have to make an effort to feed healthy food to your child at home if you expect them to eat healthy baon as well.
- Change one lunchbox item at a time If your child is used to a lunchbox-full of junk, try changing on lunchbox item at a time. Switch the candy with fruits, swap the artificial juicebox with water. Make small changes one at a time to help your child get used to it. As for full meals, choose to immediately nix the instant junk meals like hotdogs, and chicken nuggets. Opt for home cooked meals from scratch instead. It may be more work but your child’s health is surely worth the time and effort.
- Be a role model If you expect your child to eat healthy, you must set an example yourself. You cannot expect to feed your children their daily dose of fruits and vegetables if you refuse to eat the same.Make meal times a chance to be a good role model and eat healthy food yourself.
- Set a “lunchbox cheat day” If there are days when your child would miss the usual lunchbox junk food, you may opt to set a “lunchbox cheat day” once a week or once every 2 weeks where your child can choose what snacks to bring for school.