Kids Lunch Ideas
Fun With Fruit & Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a tricky topic with children. It’s vital to keep it fun and interesting in order to engage them. Also, repetition is key. If you keep giving them vegetables in their lunch box (eg. instead of chips, pretzels etc), they will eventually nibble and try it. They may not initially accept the flavors, but hang in there, scientifically it takes taste buds at least 10 tries of eating something to ‘acquire’ a taste for it. This is not going to guarantee a raw vegetable LOVER, but I assure you they will learn to tolerate it in small quantities, which is an astounding success when compared to eating chips, pretzels, crackers etc.
Also, presentation and shape make a big difference.
Tiny mason jars mixed with something they like (eg. natural Greek yogurt or hummus) works very well. A large dollop of hummus or yogurt can nicely tuck away vegetables and thus becomes fun & interesting. The smaller the veggie pieces, the more likely they will eat them, not least of which because it gets all mixed up and there is no choice but to spoon it all up in one go, MOM HACK, KID approved!
Lightly steaming green vegetables and drizzling with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper makes a huge difference with taste and texture, as it is sweeter, more familiar and softer.
Have fun, experimenting with cutting vegetables and fruits in different shapes using cookie cutters and use fun cocktail sticks!
Here is a list of some easy, fun go-to fruit and vegetable snack ideas that your kids can make with mild adult supervision. The more that your child in engaged with making healthy foods, the more awareness and interest they will have! Also, children learn best by example, if they see that your plate is always filled with at least 50% vegetables (which a healthy plate should be), they will be more inclined to do the same.
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with cream cheese, sliced cheese, sliced turkey etc
Sliced apple or pear sandwiches
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with nut butter, raisins, seeds, or with sliced cheese and turkey
Tomato and cheese sticks
Cut tiny wedges of cheese, steam tiny flowerets of broccoli and have a bunch of colorful cherry tomatoes, pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Ants on a log
Celery cut into 3-4 inch pieces, fill with:
hummus and pine nuts
hummus and vegetables
cream cheese or natural Greek yogurt and vegetables
nut butter and raisins
NB. Variation – add slice of apple into wedge of celery to create a little insect create!
Fruit cocktail sticks
Slice fruit into 2cm thick small pieces and pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Vegetable Mason Jars
1/4 cup hummus or natural Greek yogurt and raw or lightly steamed vegetables as described above
Mason Jar Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to transform all sorts of VEGETABLES into a drinkable treat. Have your kid help you place ingredients in a food processor and press the mix button, there is something so satisfying about watching a smoothie in the making. Some of my top pics for smoothie ingredients include: spinach, avocado, banana, berries, hemp seeds (for protein), medjool dates, unsweetened almond milk, coconut water, dash of vanilla powder.