Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Annabel Karmel, the British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author. This week Annabel shares lunchbox tips to keep lil one's midday meals exciting!
Children are all different, but by and large what they want is a quick fix – something to eat fast saving maximum time for the playground. Here are some tips on how to make healthy lunchbox ideas that will sustain them until dinnertime, and most importantly food that they will enjoy eating.
- Lunches can be prepared the night before to save time the next morning. You can prepare pasta salads, sandwich fillings or include something from last night’s dinner like soup in a flask, chicken skewers or a frittata (Spanish omelette).
- Avoid too many processed foods as they tend to contain few nutrients and too much salt, sugar, additives and saturated fat. Instead of chips or chocolate biscuits try offering toasted seeds, popcorn, rice cakes, yoghurt covered raisins and dried apricots.
- However healthy food is, it won’t get eaten unless it’s tasty and appealing to your child. Simple touches can make all the difference like cutting sandwiches into shapes using cookie cutters or threading fruit onto a straw to make a fresh fruit skewer.
- As the colder weather sets in it’s a good idea to include something hot in a lunchbox. A wide mouthed mini thermos flask would be ideal for serving up a delicious cup of home-made or good quality bought soup like tomato soup which is both warming and nutritious.
- Pure fruit juice contains 100 percent fruit juice as you would expect, however a ‘fruit juice drink’ can contain as little as 5 percent juice and high levels of sugar and artificial colors and flavors. Other good options for the lunchbox are fresh fruit smoothies, probiotic mini yogurt drinks or plain old water.
Have a picky eater that refuses to eat his greens or a lil girl who is begging to be your sous chef, but you don't know how she can help? Submit your cooking and feeding questions to The Children's Table group over in the LilSugar Community and we'll have Annabel answer them!