Ways to make school lunches healthy and fun

September 7, 2011 2:26:54 PM PDT
Schools have either started or are just about to start which means you have to start packing those lunches.

When Dr. Sapna Parikh spoke Bryan Thomas about what he wanted in his lunch, he responded "An apple, chips and a sandwich".

That is a pretty good answer from a 5-year-old who is off to kindergarten this year.

Packing a health lunch that still gets good reviews is a tough task when you have three kids with different opinions

"So you just try to accommodate the best you can," said Pam Thomas.

To help accomodate, Eyewitness News spoke to Tanya Steele, Editor in Chief of Epicurious.com, the author of Real Food for Healthy Kids and a mother of two teenagers.

She says first give your kids power and let them help.

They can make sports bars packed with fiber, complex carbs and protein.

Younger kids can mix dry ingredients and once they're older, supervise them at the stovetop.

If kids help make it, they're more likely to eat it.

A second tip is to vary the menu. To expand the palate of your picky eater, Tanya says try adding different ingredients.

"Introduce a new food occasionally. Let them know you're going to do that so that they're less likely to toss it," she said.

She used protein packed edamame beans and the salad passed the taste test.

If your kids are athletes, try spicing up a protein packed sandwich.

"This is turkey wrap with curry chutney mayonaise and some peanuts," adds Tanya.

And every now and then add a healthy treat like whoopie pies made with whole wheat flour and organic marshmallow fluff.

And finally don't forget that looks count. Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, try making fruit-kabobs and pack it all in a lunchbox that suits your child's personality.

RECIPE LINK: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/everydaycooking/family/schoollunchesforkids#ixzz1TLFjfAJw