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

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

Fill the railcar to help feed Victoria’s homeless

A community food drive for the Salvation Army

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read