In anticipation of school starting for thousands of students this week, nutrition experts at BC Children’s Hospital are offering parents and caregivers some tips for healthy lunches.
• Make that grocery trip with your child — when children have invested time and energy in their lunches they’re more likely to eat them. Make grocery-shopping fun by picking themes or colours to guide lunch choices.
• Keep it colourful, keep it fresh — fruits and vegetables are a great ways to boost the immune system. Consider chopping up green, red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, green beans and celery for crunchy snacks and add a healthy dip. Strawberries, kiwis and oranges are also great sources of Vitamin C.
• Make lunches virtual trips around the world — Canada is home to many cultures and that means a whole lot of food to choose from. Find easy-to-make dishes like chili, fried rice with chicken and peas or a simple curry to supplement the regular sandwich options.
• Think outside the box — find ways to make food tasty and fun. Consider making bread dough with your children, rolling it into balls and stuffing it with your their favourite filling, such as pizza sauce and cheese. Bake, and voila — a fun addition to lunch.
Make things cool and appealing — literally. Find attractive reusable lunch packaging. Take the time to look for containers to keep food cool or warm depending on the dish. Presentation is important and sometimes more so for children.
For information about healthy eating and healthy weights, visit the Centre for Healthy Weights -ShapeDown website at www.bcchildrens.ca/healthyweights.