At nursery, children tend to play a lot, take part in many activities and in general, are very active. To give them the energy they need, pack their lunch with a healthy, balanced meal that they will enjoy at their nursery. Appeal to your preschooler's taste buds by providing them with packed lunches that are simple, full of variety and small in serving size. Simple to eat and easy foods interest small children. Adding colour, texture and flavours to their lunch box will make lunch that much more tempting so don't be afraid of getting creative.
- Variety - use a variety of fillings for sandwiches so they are not eating the same food every day. Not only will this prevent them from getting bored of the food, it will add variety to their diet. Add different fruits and vegetables, cheeses and other things they like to eat. Choose from a variety of foods like protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables and carbohydrates.
- Shapes - perk up their lunch boxes by cutting foods like sandwiches into different shapes like stars, circles or triangles and make it more exciting for them to eat.
- Texture - give them soft foods like pasta, rice, bread and harder, crunchy food like fruits, vegetables and crackers.
- Colour - give them lunch boxes full of colour! Add in some colour by adding fruits, vegetables and other healthy, colourful foods.
- Water - don't forget the water. Little children usually tend to be very active so keeping them hydrated is a must.
- Children enjoy an occasional surprise in their lunchbox so you can throw in something you know they love, every once in a while - this does not have to be food. You can even add in a sticker or little toy or a picture that will make them happy.
- New foods - it is best to have them try new foods at home to see if they like them before sending them to nursery or preschool with the food. This may result in wastage and a hungry preschooler!
- Growing children usually do not have the same appetite every day and this usually varies depending on the amount of activity they have done that day, among other things. Don't worry too much if, every now and then, they don't finish their lunch.
- Give them foods with easy-to-open packaging as this boosts their self confidence and independence when eating meals. Cut bigger fruit into smaller portions so it is easier for them to eat.