(WJBK) - A Facebook poll of hundred of moms revealed many of us have the same issues with our kids' school lunches: coming up with variety; what to pack the food in; uneaten food; and picky eaters. Beaumont Dietitian Christa Byrd joined us in the FOX 2 Cooking School with ways to combat common these issues.
She also shared with us some homemade lunch-ready recipes, which you can find below.
If your kids don't like sandwiches, or are tired of only eating sandwiches, try these tricks:
- Roll sandwich fixings in a tortilla for a wrap.
- Make a Pita roll with chicken salad, tuna or egg salad
- Try sandwich kabob's by skewering a grape tomato, chunk of chicken, a chunk of cheese and some lettuce. Bread optional.
- Soft Tacos (go fresh with shredded chicken & cheese. Salsa separate)
- Tortilla Pinwheels melt ham and cheese on a tortilla, roll and slice.
- Mini sandwich thin pizzas
- Quesadilla's or instead of using cheese, make hummus triangles
- Pasta salad
Finding the right container is no easy feat. Many leak, are too tricky to open or get thrown in the garbage by accident.
Byrd found one option that solves all of these problems -- the Bentgo Kids Lunch Box, which she shows us in the video player above. Plus, your purchase supports "Feed The Children.org."
3. Uneaten Food
Kids are limited in the time they get to eat lunch. They also may be chatting with friends, or eating quickly to get to recess. Byrd has some tips for making sure all their food gets eaten:
- Open as many things as possible to speed up the process
- Have all foods visible (one divided container vs. many closed containers) to help keep sight of the goal
- Let your child choose their foods and help pack their lunch so they know what to expect
- Remember appropriate kid size portions may be ½ a sandwich, 6-8 grapes, 4 oz juice, 6 cucumber slices. Don't over-pack -- it can be overwhelming
4. Picky eaters
Encouraging picky eaters can be tough. Byrd has a couple tips for getting the ball rolling.
One, from a fellow mom -- "We agreed Joey had to start with one bite on day one, day two, two bites and so on. If he complied he got a small reward each day like a couple m&ms...by the end of the week he was eating the full sandwich and all the carrots."
She also encourages getting your picky eater involved. They provide their own variety, they help with the work and they learn about proper nutrition. It takes some work creating the tool and keeping things stocked, but the the work transfers to the child.
You can also get your child involved by having them pick from this list of food -- one from each group.
For more information and other great resources, visit Beaumont's Back to School page.