Watch NZH Focus: Back to School Lunches

This week children all around the country are slowly but surely, staggering back to school. With the return to the classroom comes the perpetual parent stress of what to put in their lunchboxes. But leading nutritionist Claire Turnbull, says it doesn’t need to be a daily grind and offers some tips of how to beat the back to school blues. “ Saving time is key, if there is anything over from dinner, use that. It doesn’t need to be complicated, keep things colourful and simple.” But what about the fussy eater, the child who returns home with their lunch uneaten? “ Try things at home before you put them in their lunchbox and only swap out one thing at a time, and get the kids involved in what they are taking to school,” says Claire. Claire says to avoid too much processed or packaged food and instead swap out for fruit, home baking or cut up vegetables “often if they are chopped up small, they have a greater chance of getting eaten,” says Claire. Make sure there is a good amount of protein like meats, cheese, boiled egg or felafel and makes sure the healthy food is normalised. And lastly, make sure you keep trying, “ lunches are only a small part of what kids eat, so keep trying new stuff at home. If you expose them to it enough times they may grow to like it. There is hope for fussy eaters, you can retrain their taste buds.”

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