Va­ri­ety key to lunches

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Maryanne Taouk

GET­TING your kids to eat healthy can be a daily chal­lenge. And for many par­ents, mak­ing lunches day in and day out can be­come a bit of a chore as well.

Chantelle Ellem is the author of par­ent­ing blog Fat Mum Slim, and says many par­ents can fall into the habit of choos­ing the same food for lunch ev­ery day.

There are tips and tricks that par­ents can use to break, what she says can some­times feel like a tired lunch box rou­tine.

“All we want is what’s best for our kids … even when it comes to lunchtime,” Ellem says.

“A lit­tle cre­ativ­ity can go a long way, and kids won’t be eat­ing veg­emite sand­wiches all the time.”

Ellem sug­gests tak­ing much loved clas­sics and adding a few se­cret in­gre­di­ents to make them healthy, and try­ing a “tast­ing plate” ap­proach to lunch.

“My kids love graz­ing op­tions,” Ellem says.

“I’ll do lit­tle bits of foods they can pick and choose from. Av­o­cado dip with car­rot sticks, veg­etable chips, fresh straw­ber­ries, sushi, lit­tle sand­wiches, cold meats or left­overs.”

Grat­ing a car­rot into a reg­u­lar burger patty or us­ing av­o­cado rather than but­ter on a sand­wich can also help kids em­brace health­ier food op­tions.

Ali­son Walker, a mum of four from Bondi, uses what she calls “sneak tac­tics” to get her two school-aged boys to eat healthy.

“I make pro­tein balls for them, they just know them as that, and they think it’s made out of choco­late, but it’s ac­tu­ally fruit, like sul­tanas and raisins,” she says.

Walker says as her 9-yearold son Har­ri­son has got­ten older she has been able to ex­plain the im­por­tance of a bal­anced diet.

“If they help out in the kitchen I can make their lunches and they can see what I put in them.

“They re­alise that it ac­tu­ally tastes OK, even if it is healthy.”

Get­ting kids to eat healthy can be hard. Pic­ture: Chantelle Ellem

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