Whether it’s snacking and eating at home, eating in the car on a road trip, or packing a lunch for school or the park, getting my kids to eat healthy has been a challenge in the past. But like with all parenting challenges, we get a little bit wiser as our kids get a little bit older. We figure out what works for them (unfortunately sometimes it’s different for each of child) and we adapt and adjust our game plan. One thing I’ve learned about both of my boys is that they like to be in control. Of everything! Especially of what they eat. So I’ve come up with a few solutions that allows them to be (or at least feel) in control, along with some other tips that have helped my boys make better choices and eat healthier.
◊ Create a reachable, healthy snack shelf in your pantry…
Show your kids the food you want them to eat! Put it at their level. Fill a basket with a variety of healthy snacks for them to choose from. What I love about this is my kids can get/reach their own snacks without asking me to get it for them.
Our pantry is pretty lame, so I made a “snack shelf” out of a low cupboard that has a pull-out shelf. I found a wooden box and labeled it with a “snacks” sticker. I refill that box with snacks I’m okay with them eating pretty much any time (whole wheat pretzel sticks, granola bars, raisins, banana chips, 100% fruit leathers, and squeezable fruit and veggie pouches). I try to change up the snacks frequently so they don’t get bored with what’s available!
◊ Do the same thing with a shelf in the fridge…
I do the same thing with a shelf in the fridge. Place healthy snack options at their reachable level. If I know we’ll just be at home most of the day, I’ll put a bowl of fresh fruit or veggies on that shelf too. Cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit cups, and a bowl of grapes, or carrots. They boys now know where their snack shelf is and which shelf is theirs in the fridge. They can grab a snack when they’re hungry and they can even help make or pack their lunch when they actually reach it!
◊ Use fun shapes!
When it comes to lunch, turn sandwiches into fun shapes. I have a dinosaur cookie cutter that my kids love, but even just a heart or simple circle or square will get them excited about their sandwich. Quiz them on their shapes while they’re at it too .
◊ Let kids choose a fun lunchbox…
Okay but really, just fork out a little money to buy them a lunch box they pick out and love. It gets them excited about packing a lunch and eating it! This metal Ninja Turtle lunch box was three bucks at Target in their dollar bin section. Even if we aren’t going anywhere, I’ll pack Owen’s lunch in his Turtle box because he carries it around in anticipation for lunch. He gets so excited about lunch, he hardly thinks about what’s in it.
Then, let the kiddos help pack a super cool lunch in their new, super cool lunch box!
◊ Use easy-to-eat foods
I keep these Del Monte Fruit Cups and Fruit Burst pouches on hand because they are easy to eat anywhere! The pouches especially, are perfect for on-the-go snacks. I always have a few in my diaper bag, take them on road trips, and pack them in lunches because they’re just so easy for little kids to eat. Plus, Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers offers the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables. Consider that a win in my book 🙂 My kids love the Blueberry, Peach Mango, Strawberry, and Apple Cinnamon flavors. And they both love the new Pineapple Coconut fruit cups~we just prefer to eat those at home!
◊ Change up the scenery…
If weather/school schedule allows it, have snack-time or eat lunch somewhere fun and new! Kids get bored eating at the kitchen table. Set up a table outside, have picnic on the living room floor, go to a park for a real picnic, or let them choose where they eat. (Aha, more power to the kids!)
So, tell me: do your kids prefer to squeeze or spoon? Leave your answer in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 VISA Gift Card! Also, if you share a photo of your kids’ favorite Del Monte Squeeze or Spoon snack on the Del Monte Facebook page here between August 1st and September 1st, you could win one of two $10,000 GRAND PRIZES for your school!
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This post is sponsored by Blogher and Del Monte. All opinions are my own.
Check out my Lunch/Snack Time Inspiration for Kids Pinterest Board.