We understand that your child’s tastes change. Last year he disliked tomatoes, this year he dislikes bread. That’s why we’ve put together some quick and easy lunch ideas that offer a wealth of variations to give picky eaters the power to choose from the five food groups for the perfect balanced lunch. The options are endless and so are the health and eco benefits! This year leave no lunch behind.
#1: Designating your Food Groups
Using our Three in One Tri Bento or tray options, designate each one of your handy divided sections for every food group: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. If your child is a vegetarian, has a food allergy or a food sensitivity, then you may designate accordingly.
#2: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Grains
According to the USDA MyPlate recommendations, grains and protein are the largest food groups out of the five. The recommended daily portion of grains (whole or refined) for children ages 2-3 is 3 ounces while 4-8 years old are recommended to eat 5 ounces of whole grains daily.
Whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, cornmeal, and brown rice are essential for getting in important nutrients like fiber and B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron. A slice of bread or mini bagel, ½ cup of rice, ½ cup of cooked pasta, a small muffin and many other options.
Want to sneak in your child’s grains at breakfast time? Serve up a delicious whole wheat pancake for your bread-leery child or serve them a ½ a cup cereal or oatmeal with their breakfast.
Got a gluten-free eater? Not a problem. Chick peas, brown rice, and corn meal are packed with the fiber they need without all the gluten from enriched wheat flour.
#3: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Protein
To get your kiddo the recommended 2-4 ounces of protein, let them choose between a wide selections of lean organic meats that are packed with energy generating nutrients. One ounce of cooked chicken, a slice of turkey, cooked lean ground meat (tacos anyone?) are all great choices. Your child is bound to enjoy one kind of meat. No meat? No problem. One egg serving or a tablespoon of peanut butter and your little on is good to go!
#4: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Fruits and Veggies
One and a half cups of fruits and veggies is all your child needs to reap the benefits of a lunch filled with the vitamins to keep them alert and happy all day. The options are endless but opt for dark green or colorful options for maximum nutrient power.
For delicious recipes and ideas for your picky eater, check out our eco recipes here.
To choose from our wide array of perfect portion lunch kits, click here.