Lifting the lid on lunchboxes
LUSCIOUS lunchbox tips from Happy Days Child Care Centre in Coffs Harbour make fruit and vegetables fun and help parents choose healthy options.
The process of getting kids to eat fresh produce starts with packing lunchboxes in a balanced, appealing and practical way, but this healthy approach isn’t always followed by all.
A report by Golden Circle has lifted the lids on lunch boxes, revealing 90 per cent of parents in NSW were unaware of correct serving sizes of fruit and vegetables for kids and only 50 per cent pack them every day.
Director of Happy Days Pre-School and Long Day Care Centre Janene Williams said parents were given information including meal suggestions and a food group chart with correct servings.
“A lot of parents need education when it comes to lunchboxes and don’t know child-specific nutritional needs,” she said.
“Now is the time to get kids interested in fruit and vegetables and children rely on parents to provide this. It’s important to get them used to the taste of natural sugar so they grow up preferring it to processed sugars.”
Ms Williams said there were ways to encourage healthy eating and she offered a few tips when packing lunchboxes.
“Children can be finicky when it comes to food so pack a variety. Instead of a whole banana, pack half and a few grapes in case they won’t eat the banana.
“Pack food that kids can manage themselves. Often it’s the first time away from mum and dad who would peel the apple for them.
“Even two-year-olds can be very independent saying ‘me do it’ so give them packages they can open themselves or strawberries they can eat straight up.”