This guest post is written by Stacy Cacciatore, who is the author of the healthy eating blog, Five a Day the Fun Way.
Stacy started Five a Day the Fun Way, to provide parents with REALISTIC recipes, tips, activities and ideas to make eating healthy fun for the entire family.
As an overweight child, anorexic teen and obese adult, Stacy struggled with her weight for her entire life. After hitting an all-time high of 220 pounds, she decided something needed to change. She immersed herself in education about health, nutrition and wellness, resulting in losing 80 pounds, 11 sizes and half her body fat.
As a mom, she wants to ensure her children don’t experience the same struggles with weight and food. She writes Five a Day the Fun Way to share her experiences, research, struggles and successes in getting her entire family to eat healthier.
This week marked the halfway point of summer vacation for my kids, which means they will be back in school in only five weeks! Many parents breathe a sigh of relief that the kids are off the couch and the endless drone of “I’m bored” comes to an end, but the start of school also brings homework-filled nights, chaotic mornings and lunch-time dilemmas.
While a cafeteria lunch filled with pizza, chicken nuggets and syrup topped pancakes make sound alluring to your child, a packed lunch is often much healthier.
However, it’s not easy to pack a lunch that is healthy, quick, affordable, delicious and peanut-free. I’ve experimented with many lunches, some that were big hits and others that were epic failures, but I’ve learned some lessons along the way. Here are my top five tips for packing a lunch your kids will actually eat:
1. Make it fun
Food faces are a fun project for kids can assemble and eat during lunch. Pack a variety of fruits and veggies to make the face and your kids will have fun using their creativity to put it all together.
2. Get creative with the food groups
Make butterfly apples for a fun way to include fruits and veggies in one simple snack. Hold the creation together with a little peanut butter or show your child how to assemble it at home and let her have fun putting it together during lunch.
3. Use Cookie Cutter Creativity
Cookie cutters can make even the most boring food fun. Make a teddy bear sandwich with whole-grain flaxseed bread, lean turkey and 2% cheese. Use mini cookie cutters to make fun shapes with bell peppers, melon, pineapple and more!
4. Make Edible Art
Making edible art doesn’t have to be intimidating. It may seem time consuming to shape food into a work of art, but it’s actually quite simple.
Take for example these cute little pepper sailboats made from a sliced orange pepper, hummus and baked pita chips. These take minutes to make and require no more effort than serving them separately, but this creative design may just get your kids to try something new.
5. Get them involved
Bring your kids to the grocery store or farmer’s market and allow them to pick out the fruits and vegetables for their lunch. When you get home, have them help in the kitchen by cleaning, prepping or cooking it with you.
Research shows that kids are more likely to eat foods that they help select and prepare.
For more healthy lunch ideas or tips for making eating healthy fun for kids, visit Stacy’s blog, Five a Day the Fun Way. Do you have any healthy, make-ahead lunch ideas that are easily portable? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks Stacy for the guest post!!! Great tips and ideas!!
I hope everyone enjoyed this post!!!
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