5 Ways to Ensure Your Child Is Snacking Healthy At School
About a week ago my oldest daughter came home from school and was anxious to share with me how much fun her classroom holiday party was. I was anticipating that there would be plenty of snacks and goodies that she doesn’t normally have at home, but ’tis the season and there is nothing wrong with indulging once in awhile. Then she informed me that her teacher allowed the kids to gave soda… which is a big NO in our home… boy was I livid! After that it really got me thinking about what little control us parents sometimes have when it comes to the food and drinks they have while at school. We can’t always be there to remind them to make better choices and choose something healthier. I know I am not the only parent where this topic has arrived and that is why I came up with five ways to ensure your child in snacking healthy at school.
Healthy Choices Start At Home
Help your child establish healthy habits even before school begins. What you do at home will affect the choices they make during the rest of the day. Teaching your children about healthy food and their benefits is crucial, education is key. Head to the library with the kids and check out a few books, or you could even visit your local children’s museum if they have an exhibit on health. Allowing your children to have a visual on why eating healthy is good for their bodies and what happens when we put bad food into us is truly an eye opener for many children. Remember, children don’t want to be told to eat healthy, they want to be rewarded for making healthy choices!
Provide Them With Snacks They Actually Like!
One of the biggest problems I witness while working as a camp counselor in my teens was children trading their snacks. Making sure that you communicate with your child and figure out what snacks they don’t like will ensure they are actually eating the snacks you pack. I have totally been guilty of this! Thankfully there are delicious and healthy Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks and Del Monte® Fruit & Veggie Fusions, these are snacks that all the kids love!
Create A Food Journal
Each day when your child comes home, take not of what they have eaten and which foods they were uninterested in. You should have a good idea by the end of the week what you will need to restock when you make your next trip to the grocery store. Something else I have found useful is asking my daughter what snacks are her friends having at school. We have discovered some really great foods this way and she is always thrilled to be able to eat the same foods with her friends at the lunch table.
Change Things Up!
Sometimes we get so set in routine and so thrilled that our child actually loves a healthy snack, you can quickly forget that they are likely to grow tired of it. A few years ago a started noticing that my daughter was no longer eating her favorite snack at lunch. I played it off as maybe she wasn’t hungry that day or got school lunch instead. I continued to pack her a snack she no longer liked and it never dawned on me to ask her why she wasn’t eat it! All she needed was a little change, so we headed to the grocery store and picked out a new selection of snacks for her to pack.
Help Them Make Good Choices Even If They Get School Lunch
I packed my daughter’s lunches for years, then all of a sudden she hit the fourth grade and apparently everyone was doing school lunches. I was going to battle with her on this one, if she wanted to get school lunch with her friends then that was fine, but there was a lot of discussion about the menu. Each month we print out the school lunch menu, thankfully her school is great about the food they serve and it’s not entirely unhealthy. She chooses plenty of fruits and veggies, plus I make sure to pack her healthy snacks for snack time and at lunch if she is still hungry. It all just boils down to my original point… those healthy choices start at home so be consistent!