With regards to nutrition, there might be trouble when your kid goes to school and takes her lunch there. Although they have shown much improvement through the years, most menus for school lunches do not exactly have the most ideal foods for your growing child.
There might be a couple of solutions to your problem. One, is packing your child’s school lunch to ensure she gets the right nutritional food combination (Some schools don’t allow this.) or some people choose the food for their kids at the counter (a tricky proposition from your child’s point of view and that of the school).
The best solution is getting your kid be thoroughly informed about food and nutrition. They would then know which food is right for them. All of these, of course, starts at home.
Contrary to what most people think, eating is not intuitive. Actually, eating is considered as another learned behavior. What children learned to eat at home will be what they will prefer as adults. Habits stick.
However, we are now presently assaulted with so much advertising from corporate food makers. Without developed proper eating habits (which includes the right foods), we succumb to these barrage from all media.
These, too, affects our children as well, including the very important decisions in the choice of their food. School lunches are only part of the total media saturation currently in place for sodas, processed food, and many other unhealthy food choices.
New Food Habits
Starting your kids, the habit of knowing and choosing the right food will take some time. It will also take some work from you. Kids are kids, and they are always inclined to try new things.
Working on that premise, you can begin by introducing your growing child to new dishes that are healthy alongside those foods that are familiar to them. You can introduce soups and salads and some fruits they know but are not used to eating.
The best part of the educational process is consuming these foods yourself. Seeing adults do it will not need a big push to get the child to try it themselves. Unconsciously, especially seeing you and other adults enjoying them, your child will do so themselves.
Of course, you need to tell them that such and such food is good for getting the energy to play, some foods are for strength and building the muscles and some are fantastic brain food and the like.
The emphasis is letting them know those are the reasons why you eat them. Those that you avoid (sugar-laden confectioneries, processed food items, etc) will need the same explanation. Children might need to try the new food several times before they can decide to like them.
Negatives And No-No’s
Being a food police is not acceptable for kids. Forcing them to eat things they hate will foster rebellion and frustration. With only wholesome food choices stocked in your fridge or pantry, you can ensure good choices from your child.
Associating the sugary stuff from a birthday party fare with their stomach ache can be of help. Associating healthy food with being “energized” or “happy” is another. Getting your kid to eat healthy should go beyond school lunches.