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School Lunch Tips for Picky Eaters

How can I get my child to eat a nutritious meal when they won’t eat anything! I am frequently approached by frantic parents who want to make sure their child is getting the proper nutrition. But how do you help a picky eater eat?

So many parents struggle with what to send to school for a child's lunch. So many lunch boxes will come home just the way they left for school, full of food. Many parents feel stressed when their child doesn’t eat. Here are a few ideas to try to get your child to eat better.

When you pack the food, remember lunch is a social interaction as well. They may talk or want to play games and run around so pack accordingly, meaning pack smaller portions and foods that you can chew easily.

How to encourage children to eat school lunch

Firstly, make your child's lunch look appealing. Rows of colorful sliced vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, or carrots are visually attractive. Various colored grapes or fruits sliced are more likely to grab your child's attention. I make a simple wrap that could contain anything you want from chicken and turkey to cheese. I cut the wrap into pretty swirls alongside the child's fruit and vegetable choices. It looks good, tastes great, and will help your child focus in the classroom after eating a healthy lunch. Ask your child what they would like to add to the lunch box. Give them a choice of 2 items that you would prefer them to eat. This will help them feel empowered and you have already approved their choices.

Here are some other delicious lunches you can send your child to school with

  1. Veggie sushi (you can use seaweed or cucumber slices long and thinly). Stuff your sushi with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots. You can send chopsticks to help them use their fine motor skills during lunch.

  2. Cheese cut up into squares with crackers, fruit, and vegetables. Let your child use their creative caps and make different cheese sandwiches. You can ask them which vegetables they like with which cheese. You can even have them make you a sandwich they found tasty.

  3. Pita slices with hummus, cheese, cucumbers, and grapes. I love this mixture because it allows your child to have various textures such as salty, sweet, soft, and crunchy. These promote attention as well. So it is a great choice for lunch.

  4. Peanut Butter (or Sunflower Butter) & Jelly Sandwiches cut into various fun shapes with cookie cutters. Presentation is key. If you make a delicious-looking sandwich your child will be more likely to try it.

  5. Cucumber and Cream Cheese sandwich cut into small triangles with a clementine and strawberries. This delicious sandwich is perfect for lunch. It is elegant, pretty, and tastes delicious. This is one of my daughter's favorite sandwiches.

Try to make sure your child's lunchbox is well insulated as you want the food to remain cool. This will help your child's senses want to eat it as it will smell and look fresh. Mixing colors and textures is a great way to improve your child's lunchbox. Fresh cut fruit and vegetables allow your child to have a healthy and appealing lunch!

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