Back to School and Packing Lunches or maybe it’s their turn…..
Last year I resigned from making school lunches…well almost….I was the Wednesday lunch maker! I announced a week before school after giving it much thought that I was retiring. I mean really, I was making my lunch at the age of 9 and my kids were 9 and 10 last year, so why not follow in my footsteps!
Why did I stop?
Well, after spending time making them a wonderfully nutritious & delicious lunch with lots of love and then having it come home not eaten or half eaten, well frankly, it bothered me. I read the book, Loving What Is by Byron Katie, and she actually used an example of making school lunches and that it was MY problem if there were not eating their lunches. She said, how do you know what they want to eat for lunch and how hungry they are….and she was right. So I freed myself from “what I think should be” and handed lunch making over to my kids. Wow, was it a great year!!! On another note…they really looked forward to my Wednesday lunch and if they did not eat all of it, I didn’t take it personally.
Last year I taught my kids how to fish instead of cooking them fish…well not literally but you get what I am saying. We spent time talking about what they like to eat, how food makes them feel and what foods are important for their brains and bodies. I wanted to empower them to be able to make healthy choices that they would eat.
Here is an exercise from my little e-book Healthy Meals and Snacks for Kids
Open your fridge and list the healthy items that pop out at you? Are these your grab and go snacks? Are they healthy?
How about your pantry or cupboards? What items would your children reach for?
What is visible is what will be eaten, so take some time and slowly make visible the healthy foods you want your kids to eat (and you too!). What would those items be?
What did you discover about what you and your kids see? Will this food nourish them and you? Will it give them (and you) energy or take their/your energy?
Ready to provide your kids with the best fuel to power their performance in school and in sports?
I know it might be easier just to pick up the prepackaged lunch foods for your kid’s lunch but easier doesn’t equal healthier or the right choice to feed your growing children who really need optimal nutrition to feed their cells.
There is no denying that you are busy and want convenience when it comes to meals and snacks. But I think it is imperative that we learn what our kids need to thrive in today’s world.
Here’s a little cheat sheet that I use for my family:
When referring to food I am referring to feeding your cells…
ü Choose organic, local and non – GMO when possible and your budget permits. Focus on vegetables and fruits.
ü Keep food in the most natural state and raw when possible
ü Eat in season
ü Make food from scratch
Ridding your house of nutrient deficient foods may cause some tension in the beginning but the more times the kids are exposed to healthier options the more they will start to have them without thinking of the alternatives.
The more food options available to kids (and you), the more food they will eat – so limit choices and keep it simple. Rotate through your healthy options to keep “food boredom” at bay. If sugary foods and drinks are presented as a choice, they will be typically chosen first –don’t go cold turkey as this could be too difficult depending on their/your previous diet, rather gradually implement these changes allowing for new habits and taste buds to form.
In addition to eating the wrong kinds of food, kids are eating way too much food. Because kids are eating food that is highly processed, it is giving them NOTHING in terms of nutrition, their bodies are crying out to be fed and that is why they are still hungry. They are overfed and under nourished.
Choosing “nutrient dense” foods will feed their bodies/cells and they will begin to eat less but better foods and their bodies will be able to process the recognizable micro and macro nutrients needed to help them grow. This will keep them healthy and mentally alert!
Gary Roberts stated in the March 2012 issue of “Hometown Hockey” magazine that NUTRITION is KEY. Kids and parents need to make healthy food choices. “It’s nutrition, then body maintenance, then training. If you don’t do the first two, the third one is not going to work out that well” he states. Whether your kid is in sports or at school, it is of vital importance to fuel their bodies and their brains with proper nutrition.
On a final note, I hear many times, “they’re just kids, they will burn it off!” But the goal is to create good habits that promote a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just about the calories but the quality of those calories; it’s how the food affects the kids physically and mentally and how food nourishes their cells.
Almost a third of Canadians aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, Statistics Canada finds. I know we can help our kids. We are all wonderful parents that want the best health for our kids and it starts with what we choose to feed them. Stay tuned for the Grocery Cart Detox blog on Aug 28th and Sept 1st, 2014. Take the challenge and let’s have the healthiest school lunches yet!!!
Some kid friendly eating ideas!!
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness field for over two decades & has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is an ACE certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of Busy Mama Programs such as the Busy Mama Reboot, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, Busy Mama Detox & more. As a Juice Plus+ mum of 2 healthy kids, she is passionate about teaching others the POWER of whole food nutrition in the role of disease prevention. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.busymamadetox.com. Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending.