When kids control lunch, healthy choices become easier

When kids control lunch, healthy choices become easier

Marketing of food to children is usually viewed negatively, and is a way of getting them to annoy their parents for what is highly processed and lacking in food. But apply the same sales principles to healthy, homemade meals, and become a force for good, tipping the arrow toward healthier options. Marketers know what motivates children They spend billions a year trying to figure it out – so why not borrow some of their tactics? That’s exactly what these action packed chests do.

One of the most effective ways to reach children is to tap into their desire for control. Placing them in the driver’s seat around the food (with proper guidance, of course) gives them a sense of independence and investment, making them even more willing and enjoying what they are eating. Gardening and cooking with kids are well-known ways to promote such an agency, but the possibilities don’t stop there. Every step in the meal process is an opportunity to participate – the more hands-on the better.

These lunch box ideas are designed to increase this engagement, and put the power in a child’s hands by making the meal itself a fun and action-oriented experience. Each is based on an activity to do before or while eating, but there are many ways to get them involved before that point. Every kid prepares for the kids when they open their lunch boxes and the real, delicious fun begins.

squeeze: Here, a delicious sunflower butter sauce (think peanut sauce but nut-free) packed into a small bottle to squeeze as much (or less) as you like onto pasta and vegetables packed into separate containers. The sauce is so good, you might be tempted to squeeze it right in your mouth! An empty honey bear or a small ketchup bottle works perfectly, or you can buy a small condiment jar – just make sure you have an airtight lid. The sauce is easy to prepare, so it is ideal to prepare with children. They can customize their lunch by choosing any type of pasta or vegetables they like.

Make the recipe: Vegetables and Noodles in Sunflower Butter Sauce

roll: Rolled sandwiches are always a win, but somehow they taste even better when you’re rolling them out on your own right now, with the ingredients of your choice. Let your child help decide which items to include. You’ll need some kind of topping—a large tortilla or two small, or two slices of whole-grain bread flattened with a nail. (Be sure to pack the wrapper in a zip-top bag so it stays soft.) In another container, stuff the filling items—all thinly sliced ​​or grated for easier layering and rolling—such as sliced ​​turkey or ham, shredded cheese, and vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and lettuce leaves. With ribs removed for easy wrapping. Add a small bowl or can of whatever sandwich condiment your child prefers, along with a utensil for spreading. Also include a paper plate or a large square of foil where your child can layer and roll their craft.

to retreat: One of the best things about snorkeling is that the diver becomes the bowl, so you can eat with your hands. This lunch box centers on dipping black beans with chili and lemon, which can be as light or spicy as you like. Dipping itself is fun with children – it is especially interesting for them to see how it combines in a food processor. You can use another type of bean, such as pinto or kidney, to make this dip, or you can substitute store-bought hummus. As for divers, the sky is the limit. Let your child choose any combination of vegetables he likes, as well as crunchy whole-grain cereal or crackers.

Make the recipe: Black Bean Dip Chili

pile: Create a homemade Lunchables-style box with a variety of cut foods all the same size so they can be easily stacked. (You can use a small cookie cutter or a glass to cut many items to roughly the size of a cookie.) Some of the ingredients include: wholegrain chips, cucumber slices, cheese, hard-cooked eggs, turkey, ham, roast beef, seasoned tofu, green apples, strawberries, etc. Roll each into individual muffin liners in your lunch box so they’re ready to mix and match at lunchtime.

shake: This brunch is a layered salad in a transparent bowl, so it looks like a work of art. Encourage your child to make his own colorful creations, choosing vegetables and proteins that inspire him. The Italian marinade here is a sure win, but it can be easily substituted too. When your child opens his lunchbox at school, he can pour the dressing over the salad, re-seal it (tightly!) and shake, shake, mix, and eat straight from the container.

Make the recipe: Layered Salad with Italian Dressing

Along with these ideas, as you get into the rhythm of the school year, keep in mind that another powerful tool marketers use to reach children is the role model. You may not feel that you can compete with cartoon characters and professional athletes in commercials, but the example you set has a more profound impact than you may realize. With that said, when you pack your child’s lunch, consider packing yourself too, and whenever possible, sit back and enjoy lunch together.

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