I am in shock that summer has come and gone in a blink! Friends have told me that the years with small children go fast and this summer has gone faster than ever! Summer 2013 was filled with sleeping late, splashing in the pool, rainy day projects, and family adventure vacations….but now is the time to bring on school—with excitement! Trying to get my kids fired up about getting back into the school routine we held our 2nd Annual School Lunch Tasting Party! Saying the word “party” to kids makes all things seems more fun- right?!?! I use the Tasting Party as an opportunity to let the kids have a voice on the foods that we will be putting in their lunch boxes. We try new fruits, dips, veggies, wraps, nut butters, jellies, crackers, granola bars. You name it- we all tried something new for the party. School lunch making can be a daunting, monotonous task for us all – but the vitamins and minerals in the lunch meal can fuel your child for success the rest of the day- or can set them up for a roller coaster of behavior disaster.
Here are some pictures of the Tasting Party! It is never too late to have your children try new things! Just don't surprise them with new food items in their lunchbox!
The Tasting Party was a success (for the most part). Lyla now likes Almond Butter, Kailtyn attempted celery with ranch dressing, and Porter enjoyed a new yogurt dip for fruit! Here are some lunch ideas for your little sweetie! Enjoy! And please pass on any of your favorite lunch tips!
Last, a new recipe that is a complete lunch meal for all people attempting to fuel their bodies at lunchtime!!!
Perfect Lunchtime Pasta Salad
- 1 package whole wheat rotini pasta (or rice pasta)
- 1 pound skinless, cooked chopped, boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups green grapes
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup sweet peas (or broccoli)
- 2-3 Tbsp Organic Italian or Tuscan dressing
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl, add dressing and toss in cheese if desired! Enjoy! The lunch was a whole family favorite!
Children's nutrition doesn't have to be frustrating. Consider these strategies to avoid power struggles and help the picky eater in your family eat a balanced diet.
5 Tips for Picky Eaters!
No. 1: Be patient with new foods (Children may need to try a food 8 times before they will like it!)
No. 2: Make mealtime fun (games, jokes, questions)
No. 3: Recruit your child's help (At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table)
No. 4: Set a good example. If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit.
No. 5: Don't be a short-order cook. Preparing a separate meal for your child after she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn't eat. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred.