We all know what foods are good for us and what we should avoid, yet putting that into practice can be hard. Oftentimes, the most convenient snacks and meals are the ones that aren’t the healthiest options.
Busy families, between juggling jobs, schedules and childcare, find it hard to think about healthy meals every day. Packing healthy lunches is not always a top priority!
I have three children with different requirements for their lunchboxes. As their Mum, I want to make sure I’m giving them the best nutrition, with ideas that don’t break the bank and are easy to prepare.
I had a chat with Registered Dietitian, Mia Smith, to find out what she does and how she can help families like mine.
What does a dietitian do?
Dietitians work in a variety of settings, helping people of all ages to understand food and make the best choices for themselves.
I help people use food as a way to prevent disease, and food as a way to make people feel better.
Why is healthy eating so important for our children?
Children establish their health for the rest of their life during childhood. We want our children to grow up with healthy habits. It’s a lot easier to establish healthy eating habits early than try to change behaviours later in life.
Getting it right from the start means there are fewer challenges later on in life.
We all want our kids to be healthy; what do you think are the main barriers to packing healthy lunchboxes?
I think people can fall into a trap of thinking that it doesn’t matter; kids can learn to love fruits and vegetables later.
Children can be picky so it becomes easier just to give them foods you know they will eat and enjoy.
How can people take easy steps to provide healthier options for their children?
1. Planning is key
Knowing what to buy for the week and meal/snack planning in advance really helps. Setting a good example is important: we are our role models for our children so healthy behaviours start with us.
2. Understanding what makes up a healthy lunchbox is important
I’ll be running a workshop on Healthy Lunchboxes where we cover tips and tricks for providing snacks and meeting children’s nutritional requirements. We’ll look at what foods to focus on and how to prepare them in a way that children find tasty.
The workshop is for families with young children, who want to improve the snacks and lunches they give their children. If parents are worried about extreme food aversions or sensory issues, I’d advise them to seek the help of their paediatrician first.
Learn More About Healthy Lunchboxes
If you would like to find out more about how to pack healthy lunch boxes, you can register for Mia’s Workshop on Saturday 23rd July. Hosted by SensoBaby and Humpty Dumpty Nursery School.
Email [email protected] or contact 75305964 to book your space. P400 includes snacks, samples as well as a free recipe e-book!
Find out more about healthy eating by following Mia on Instagram where she shares recipes, knowledge and ideas:
Munchkin and Mom will also be on hand to display their tools and tricks for making food fun and appealing. Check out their ideas for healthy lunchboxes ideas here: https://www.instagram.com/munchkinandmommy/
To find out more about healthy eating for children, follow this link to download their free guides and activity sheets: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/kids-healthy-eating-plate/