Top Tips to Make Back to School a Whole Lot Easier and Healthier!

We understand that encouraging your child to eat healthy can be a challenging task. However, the habits they develop early on will likely stick with them for the rest of their lives, so it’s important to educate and guide them as much as you can. Here are some tips to help you improve your child’s eating habits, followed by some simple healthy school lunch ideas.

1) Be a good role model
Children learn by example, so if you are consistently eating healthy foods, your child is more likely to do the same. Explain why you enjoy eating well and the benefits it has on you, that they can relate to. For example “bananas are so delicious and they give me loads of energy to run around and play!”

2) Involve your child in meal planning and preparation
Allow your child to help with food choices and the prepping process. This will give them a sense of ownership over the food they are eating and will make them more likely to try new foods and finish their meals. As children get older, they  can start to  tire of certain foods quickly so it’s a good idea to switch up their choices and keep it interesting. Offer them a variety of snacks to choose from for example, and let them pack their own lunch.

3) Make healthy foods more appealing
Present healthy foods in a fun and appealing way. Cut fruits and vegetables into shapes, make a colourful fruit salad, or create a veggie platter with a dip. Try giving certain meals or foods fun names together such as super-vision sticks (for carrot sticks!)

4) Limit processed and sugary foods
Processed foods and foods high in sugar can be very unhealthy and over time can lead to a variety of health issues. Try to limit these foods and replace them with healthier options, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also a great idea to find healthier alternatives to your child’s favourite sugary snacks, for example dried fruit bars, nuts dipped in dark chocolate, or low sugar jelly. These apple sandwiches with nut butter and granola or cereal inside are a great tasty treat for kids, and they’ll love to build them themselves!

apple slices with peanut butter

5) Encourage physical activities
Make sure to encourage your child to engage in physical activities, as regular exercise can help build a healthy appetite and improve their overall health. If you can, try walking your child to or from school and go on bike rides at the weekend!

Remember, you have the power to help your child develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Lead by example and make mealtimes fun and enjoyable!

We also know that the back to school period can be stressful, particularly when it comes to lunch prep. As time efficiency and ease becomes the priority, it can become all too easy to let health slide. However, with these quick and easy school lunch ideas you can prioritise both health and ease!

1) Homemade lunchables
Lunchables are a childhood classic, right? However, they’re full of preservatives and aren’t too healthy. A great alternative for a school lunch idea is to make your very own homemade version! All you need is some crackers, your choice of meat (thin ham or chicken slices cut into bite size pieces), and cheese. Also, be sure to serve with a side of something sweet like fruit! With different types of crackers, meats, cheese, fruits, and veggies to choose from, this is an easy go-to that will never get boring! Here is a great example from What Lisa Cooks:

homemade lunchables

2) Vegetable packed pasta
The combination of pasta, sauce and cheese is usually a fantastic way to disguise veggies like broccoli, green beans, peas and carrots. If your child is particularly fussy about vegetables, a top tip is to blend some into the sauce – they won’t even know they’re there! What’s even better about pasta dishes for school lunches is that you can batch cook and freeze some for later.

3) Hummus & pitta bread
Hummus is a great source of plant based protein and fibre. It’s also full of calcium to help strong bones. If you have the time, it’s even better homemade – and more cost effective. Find a simple hummus recipe here. To make it more fun, why not cut your pitta bread into star shapes with a cookie cutter? Additionally, serve with a selection of vegetable sticks for dipping.

4) Pinwheel tortilla wrap
This is an easy variation on a sandwich that just helps keep lunch a little more interesting. All you need is a tortilla wrap and a filling of your choice – ham and cheese for example. Be sure to include a salad filling such as tomatoes, cucumber or salad leaves. Spread out the fillings in the wrap, roll it up and slice into bite size pieces for your little one to enjoy. Top tip: keep them in place with a kebab stick!

5)Homemade soup
Homemade soup is a tasty way to get those disguised veggies in and is especially great to keep your child toasty throughout the colder months. Find a simple vegetable soup recipe here. Ensure to invest in a good flask that will keep the soup nice and warm. You can always add some pasta to the soup to make it more filling or serve with some bread to dip.

Are you fed up of stocking up on all the fruits and vegetables only to find them rotting too quickly in your fridge? It’s time to invest in a reusable produce bag!

Veggie Saver is scientifically proven to keep fruit and veggies fresh for 2 weeks or more.

It’s a 100% natural, non-toxic, reusable, machine-washable & compostable produce bag, helping you to reduce waste, plastic pollution, and the number of trips you take to the store!