For a month, researchers studied the eating behavior of 270 elementary school students from New York. As a result, they came to the conclusion that, while choosing their own meals in the dining room, the child is distracted by her appearance and smell. This leads to the fact that he prefers a healthy snack light snack rolls and crackers.
It turned out that only a third of the children brought homemade food to school — but in 70% of cases it was healthy. And when the children collected their own food in the trays, only 15% of the dishes were healthy.
The researchers also gave parents some tips on how to make home-made products more attractive and useful for their child:
- Kids tend to show off to each other, including food. Do not be stingy and get your child a bright lunchbox with cute pictures. The more offices there will be – the better.
- Make sure that food packaging opens easily and food does not require additional processing, such as cleaning. Otherwise, your preparations will remain intact – the active student simply does not have enough time for them.
- Small children are not able to eat much at one time. Try making a few small canapes instead of a big sandwich and put a dozen grapes instead of an apple. The smaller the portions, the more varied the snacks.
- Small portions of food are fun to eat and easy to share with friends. Cut the cottage cheese casserole into small squares, make a carrot straw and slice the fruit into small pieces.
- Do not be fond of innovations when it comes to children’s lunch. Children are by nature conservatives, and they need to try a new food 10–12 times to get used to it and, especially, to love. If the baby likes his snacks, and they comply with the rules of healthy eating for children – change their composition gradually, adding no more than one new product per week.
- Baked and grilled vegetables, cereals and fruits are an excellent choice for any snack, as they are rich in fiber and give a feeling of satiety. Try to ensure that such products occupy most of the lunchbox.
- If you are collecting lunch for a child in the morning, make sure that he stays fresh before lunch. Do not put together hot and cold foods – in the heat microbes develop much faster. Refuse sausages and hard cheese – under the action of heat, they release fat and become unattractive in appearance and taste. To make lunch better preserved, you can make a refrigerator from a lunchbox. To do this, cool a small bag of juice and put it in the lunchbox. It will warm up to room temperature just in time for dinner and at the same time help other foods to stay fresh.
- Do not forget about drinks. If you do not want to give your child packaged juices or drinking yoghurts, in the preparation of which manufacturers, as a rule, abuse sugar, buy a bright non-sprinkling drinker. In such a container, the child will easily take home a fruit drink or compote. Feeding is much more convenient than bottles or bags with a straw – there is a chance that the baby’s clothing will remain clean.