Trying to beat the battle of the school lunch

My daughter started preschool last year, and because she was not quite ready for the transition, I also attended preschool.

My daughter started preschool last year, and because she was not quite ready for the transition, I also attended preschool.

At snack time, I was unable to avoid the temptation of scanning the children’s lunches. It made me aware that one of the challenges of sending a lunch, is that children want their lunch to look like everyone else’s.

Suddenly, my daughter was requesting foods she previously did not know existed: Dora fruit snacks, yogurt tubes, banana bear paws. I realized that this was the beginning of the loss of control of my daughter’s diet. Because I cannot make unhealthy foods marketed specifically for children illegal, I thought I would offer some alternatives, so we as the collective parent, can change our children’s food culture. So what do we consider a basic healthy meal? Usually some kind of whole grain carbohydrate (bread, pasta, rice…etc), a protein (eggs, milk, cheese, beans, seeds, poultry, fish, meat) and some veggies or fruit.

Here are some better ideas I saw at preschool:

• Salad on a stick: cut-up cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, (or whatever veggies they like) with cubes of feta or mozzarella cheese and put on small skewers. These are more fun to eat than regular salad and do not require cutlery.

• Mini pizzas: take a whole wheat pita or English muffin, top with a little tomato sauce and whatever toppings your kids like. Melt in toaster oven.

• Yogurt-fruit-granola parfait: put yogurt, fruit and sprinkle some granola in layers in a little Tupperware container.

• Edamame: this is a soybean sold in pod that can be bought in the freezer section of the grocery store. They need to be boiled, steamed or microwaved to cook, and usually sprinkled with a little salt. Kids love eating out of pods.

•Hard boiled eggs

•Trail Mix: Mix a low-sugar cereal (like Cheerios) with seeds, dried fruits and a couple pretzels. If allowed at your school, you can add nuts as well.

• Veggies and Dip: kids love dipping. The problem with vegetables is taking the time to cut and peel them. If you prepare a large container of cut-up veggies in the beginning of the week, you can just take a quick handful every day.

• Apple slices with cinnamon

Try incorporate different colours and remember the best way to get your child to eat their lunch is to get them involved in the planning and preparation.

-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Just Posted

Teslyn Bates, a Grade 11 student at Salmon Arm Secondary, was among four musicians from the Shuswap who won awards at the 2021 Virtual Performing Arts BC Festival held June 1-5. (Contributed)
Province takes note of young Shuswap musicians at June festival

Four local contestants receive awards at 2021 Virtual Performing Arts BC Festival

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans to hold a vigil on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. to honour the victims of what officials are calling a terrorist attack on five Muslims in London, Ont. (File photo)
Salmon Arm council holds minute of silence to honour victims of Ontario attack

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans vigil for Muslim family on June 25, 8 p.m. at McGuire Lake

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A first-dose mobile vaccination clinic is being held on Tuesday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Salmon Arm fairgrounds, west entrance across from spray park. (Interior Health image)
Location for Salmon Arm’s June 15 COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinic changes slightly

Immunization clinic still at fairgrounds but people attending asked to use different entrance

Felix Haase and Jayme Saretzky staff a pop-up booth to support the Salmon Arm Pride Project on the patio of the newly reopened Wild Craft Mercantile at 121 Shuswap St. on Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Wild Craft Mercantile in Salmon Arm holds grand reopening, celebrates Pride month

Store moves from Lakeshore to Shuswap, demonstrates support for Pride project

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Vernon Elks Lodge secretary-treasurer Maureen Sather says special relief funding for the organization courtesy of Community Futures North Okanagan has been just that: a relief. (Photo submitted)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years and they've detailed the first year of their adventures in a new book. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Okanagan couple details first year of van life in new book

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years

A young child was taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Child OK after being hit by car in Vernon

Father says daughter was back home by supper time

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Most Read