Give your kid healthy food, they’ll be healthy for a day. Teach ‘em how to make healthy food, and they’ll make healthy choices for a lifetime.
Knowledge of healthy eating
Getting your children involved in meal prep is pivotal to help them understand what’s going into their bodies. A study done by the University of Alberta and published by Cambridge shows that children who are involved in home meal preparation also tend to make healthier choices when it comes to the food they eat. Those children tend to eat more fruit and vegetables and less fatty, fried foods. Getting kids involved opens the doors to lots of questions and conversations about nutrition, our bodies and why it’s important to eat healthy.
Ownership leads to less food waste
Its common for parents to experience frustration from their kid’s uneaten items being left in their lunch kits. One benefit to getting kids involved is that it tends to lead them to take ownership – something that often leads to reduced amounts of uneaten food that comes back with them.
September is when we all get back into routine and a perfect time to involve your kids in meal prep as much as possible (I think we can all use a little extra help right now!). So, what could you do to get your kids in the kitchen and having fun?
Here’s 5 tips on how to get them involved:
Teach them a basic plan/formula: By providing your children a basic formula or outline of a healthy lunch you’ll make the process super simple while also maintaining some nutritional integrity and balance. We’ve included a good outline to start with below. You can adjust this as you see fit but it provides a good balance of nutrients and can be applied to different ages.
2. Get the right gear: Do yourself a favor and get a bento style lunch box with one lid, or easy containers that will solve all your lunch prep problems!It will simplify lunch packing and clean-up and is a perfect way to prep your lunches the night before. Whether your kids are staying home or going back to the classroom, the right gear will make your life that much easier.
3. Make fruits & veggies easy: Slice up veggies and fruit and store them in containers in the fridge. Fill a bowl on the counter with bananas and washed apples and pears to make it easy to add to their lunches. Be sure to buy healthy grab & go options for those busy days. Great options are unsweetened applesauce, fruit cups, trail mix, and energy bites or granola bars. Check out our five recipes kids ten and under can make!
4. Create an environment that enables: Set your kitchen up so its conducive to make packing easy at your kids level. Place containers and water bottles in an easy to reach spot and organize your pantry with easy-to-grab healthy foods for your kids to grab.
5. Don’t micromanage: The objective to getting your kids involved is so they can gain more independence while also saving you time! It’s not always easy but avoid the temptation to get overly involved. It’s okay to suggest tossing in an item or two but don’t take over. If your child prepares the same lunch 4 days in a row, no big deal.
We hope you found that helpful! Let us know what your favourite tips are for getting your kids involved with lunches?