For many of us lunch is a 'grab and go' meal, which can easily lead to high-fat snacking, but with a little planning you can have a filling lunch without consuming too many kilojoules. We know it can be tricky to create lunches when you're watching your weight - so we've come up with some easy ideas for you to try. Couscous is another easy lunch-box idea that can be made the night before and stored in the fridge for up to three days. By helping your children learn that eating a balanced diet will give them more energy for playing, help them sleep better and grow into a big person (they all seem in such a hurry to be a big boy or girl), you will not only be growing strong, healthy little people but more importantly instilling positive attitudes toward feeding their bodies that will last them a lifetime. As a nutritionist who is passionate about food, I believe that the joy of food and a healthy relationship with food is something all children should experience. Below are a few ideas to help develop healthy attitudes toward food and ultimately make eating fun!

Introduce children to a range of tastes, textures and colours.  To stay healthy and grow, it’s important young children eat a variety of different foods.
Have meals together as a family – sociable and impressionable, small children benefit hugely by being included in the family meal, absorbing everything from table manners to family dynamics, social skills to an open-minded attitude toward new food. In my opinion, the biggest problem with junk food is the fact that generally it is highly processed with large quantities of unknown additives, preservatives, and chemicals. ‘Junk’ food offers very little in terms of benefiting your child nutritionally AND is full of empty calories, which can contribute to weight and health problems.
It helps to eat around the same time and commit time to eating – discourage rushing of the meal to do other things.
Make fruit kebabs using straws or put veges, hummus, and cottage cheese in and let your child choose what and how they wish to eat it.  Yum Yum Kids sells a wide range of these sorts of products because we believe that the products can make a genuine difference to meal times and healthy eating in general. The mealtime routine can be flexible and fun – try mixing it up a bit – a picnic at the beach or park or outside if the weather’s fine. The aim is to foster a calm, friendly atmosphere – a stressful climate at mealtimes teaches children to regard mealtimes as an ordeal, not the fun positive experience that it should be.

You can use this to encourage children who under eat at mealtimes to eat more by limiting ‘grazing’ (or random snacking). Don't forget to pack in a piece of fruit like a peach or an apple to keep the kids happy and healthy!
Thus, role modelling is one of the best ways to encourage your child to eat well – teaching them to make healthy food choices puts them on track to a lifetime of benefits. On the other hand, regular healthy snacks can be a great way to reduce overeating at mealtimes.

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