Getting the kids to eat healthy is difficult at the best of times but getting them to eat healthy at school, when you’re not around to watch what they’re eating can seem an impossible task.
Thankfully Fresh for Kids, a non-profit program started in the early stages of 1997 to combat the alarmingly low levels of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption within primary school aged children, has produced a selection of tips to help.
Below are the best tips from the fresh food experts to help get your children eating healthier – even when they’re out of your sight.
- Always include fresh fruit and vegetables. Vary the selection to keep it interesting
- Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads.
- Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
- Use reduced fat dairy foods. Cheese and yoghurt are ideal.
- Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime. Ensure you include lean meat, egg, peanut butter, chickpeas or tuna.
- Add a chilled bottle of water and limit juice.
- Kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat. Fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins.
- Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavour, colour and texture.
- Freeze fruits in the summer or for sport days. Simply pop the frozen fruit into a small sealable plastic bag or airtight container.?
- If including whole fruit in the lunchbox, select fruit that is a suitable size for a child to easily hold in their hand and eat (this is particularly important for younger children). ?
- Peel and slice or cut fruit if possible and choose seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and Imperial mandarins.
- If you’re added tomato to sandwiches, place the tomato between fillings and not directly onto the bread. This prevents the bread becoming soggy.?
- When using avocado, mash or drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.?
- Mild tasting and crunchy lettuce varieties like Iceberg and Oak leaf and Lebanese cucumbers are ideal for kids.
- Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings. Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.
- Make salads or salad sandwich fillings interesting by using a range of vegetables like grated carrot, snow pea sprouts, lettuce or rocket or baby spinach, sliced celery, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber.
- Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.