Back to school: Make lunchtime fun time, says expert

Kids can often be much pickier eaters than their parents

Kids can often be much pickier eaters than their parents, particularly when it comes to healthy options.

But there are ways to pack a healthy lunch and get kids excited about eating well – even if they don’t realize they’re doing it, says Sarah Voldeng, a registered nutritionist and founder of Absolutely Nutrition in Victoria.

“Eating creative is really important: when packing fruit and vegetables, make it fun for kids by cutting food out into different shapes, or making it a bit more decorative,” Voldeng says.

Including yogurt or salad dips is one simple way to make vegetable and fruit healthy and exciting at the same time, she says.

A second tip? Parents tend to skimp on protein when packing school lunches, often forgetting that plenty of protein helps stabilize blood sugar.

“Protein is good for focus and stamina during the long school day, whether it’s meat, cheese, yogurt or other vegetarian options, that’s a substantial part of a healthy meal for kids,” Voldeng says.

A lot of parents tend to go “carb-heavy” with packed lunches and snacks (think crackers and chips) while forgetting about the importance of protein, says the nutritionist.

Last, don’t forget about healthy fats. Avocado, salmon, tuna, or fatty seeds like pumpkin and sunflower do the trick while satisfying that snacking itch.

“Stay away from foods that will cause fluctuation in behaviour, and foods definitely do that,” Voldeng says. “Putting in something that’s too high in refined sugars will speed kids up and cause them to crash too quickly. But healthy fats supply the brain with what it needs for healthy functioning.”

Just Posted

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

Central Saanich changes incentives for housing developments

Changes shift incentives for some developments from development cost charges to building permit fees

Monarchist League of Canada calls Sidney’s removal of Queen’s portrait ‘lamentable’

Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith has since issued apology over removal

Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith issues apology over removal of Queen portrait

Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith has apologized for changes in the decor of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Most Read