Right now the debate in our house is packed lunches v school dinners for Miss Roo going back to school. I can see myself easily coping with packed lunches in the early part of the week when the cupboards are plentiful after a shop at Sainsbury’s, but come the end of the week it may prove a little bit more of a challenge to cater for madam’s aversion to bread and anything other than ham or tuna!
I want to make sure that the is well fuelled though for her new journey of learning – after all starting reception is a big step in any child’s life and their brains are about to get a serious workout and they will need to have a well rounded breakfast to see them through the morning and a varied and healthy lunchtime meal.
Thankfully this week I managed to get hold of someone who knows all about kids and the nutrition they need and that’s Consultant Dietitian to Weetabix, Sian Porter. Sian has kindly put together the following tips to help parents understand what their kids need on a daily basis once they start back to school and how you can make mealtimes fun and even tackle some fussy eating!
Top Tips for Kids Healthy Eating
- A variety of foods at regular meal times is key to a healthy diet
- Involve children in food and meal preparation
- It’s better to offer child-size portions allowing for seconds if wanted rather than one large one
- Be a positive role model for your child when it comes to eating
- Eat together as a family
- Keep sweets and similar foods as an occasional end of meal treat
- Top up between meals with a healthy snack half way between such as vegetable/fruit sticks with yoghurt dip or breakfast cereal with milk
- Make sure your child is not too tired to eat
- If you have any worries talk to your doctor, health visitor or school nurse
As Sian says….
“The amount of food given should be according to your child’s appetite. Remember they are not mini-adults so will eat a lot less than you but still need to get all the nutrition they need. Make sure they are taking in enough calories from a range of nutrient-rich foods in appropriate amounts. They are pretty good at self-regulation – feeding should be appetite lead. You should always offer child-size portions, allowing for seconds if wanted rather than one large one to start with. Recommended daily amounts are population based figures and are guidelines rather than being prescriptive.”
Both Daddy E and I struggle with our weight and remembering portion control and so I found this information from Sian and the Weetabix crew really useful, I particularly notice that when Roo is tired getting her to eat can be a real battle and challenge and I will be making a concerted effort to have her dinner ready for her at a sensible hour or a light snack so she can eat with us for some daily family time.