Lunchbox ideas for kids: How to innovate for fussy eaters

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Kids can be fussy eaters and it can become difficult to decide how to prepare their lunch so that they eat it. If you have been struggling too, here are some lunchbox ideas for fussy eaters.

Children can be extremely fussy when it comes to food. Regardless of how much you fill the table with yummy and healthy treats, they never feel excited and always get grumpy when they see food. Many kids are picky eaters, which means they are very choosy about what they eat. Have you ever wondered why some kids are more picky than others? Maybe they don’t like how these foods feel in their mouth or they want to be in charge and make decisions on their own. If you have a fussy eater at home, here are some expert-recommended lunchbox ideas for fussy eaters to help them eat.

Why are kids fussy eaters?

According to a study in the European PMC Funders Group, here are the causes of why a kid could be a fussy eater:

1. Picky eaters at 38 months (3 years and 3 months) were found to be at greater maternal age, high maternal social class, lower pre-pregnancy body mass index, maternal smoking, and infants being lighter birthweight and male.
2. Kids who were breastfed for a shorter period and introduced the baby to complementary feeding at a later stage were more likely to be picky eaters at a later age.
3. The child’s emotionality and negativity at a young age also impacted them being picky eaters.
4. Maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy or the first years of the child’s life were also associated with a child being a picky eater.

Also Read: 7 tips to handle a fussy eater and make your child eat healthy

Healthy lunch box ideas for your children. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Lunchbox ideas to deal with fussy eaters

If your child skips lunch regardless of how much you try, you should try these expert-recommended tips to prepare lunchbox ideas that might help you deal with a fussy eater:

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1. Opt for a child-friendly lunch box

Child-friendly lunch boxes are the ones that come with fun and attractive accessories. Allow your child to pick out their lunchbox, whether they want a cartoon character of their choice or their favourite colour. The child can choose colours and stickers for his/her box that will make the box look colourful. They can also colour the lunch box themselves.

Also Read: 6 tips to keep your kids healthy this summer season

2. Ask your child to pack the lunch

Including your child in lunch preparation will make them feel they are making their lunch as per their liking, which makes them want to eat it. You can ask your child about which fruit he/she loves, and the condiment (yogurt or ketchup) they want. You can help them pick the snack of their choice. This will make the child feel enthusiastic and motivated to eat what is given in the lunch box, says neonatologist and paediatrician Dr Jagdish Kathwate.

3. Avoid introducing new foods to school-going children

It is not the right time to try new foods for tiffin. It is better to give the child what he/she prefers during school. Pack the food in a fancy way. Use toothpicks for fruits so that the child can enjoy them during the break or cut the roti in the shape of a flower or the sun and try to keep the portion small. This will make lunchtime interesting. Don’t force the child to eat the same food for lunch every day. Sandwiches, crackers, healthy laddoos, dosa, idli, pancakes, Pita slices and hummus, pasta salad and thin-cut carrot or celery sticks or steamed, cooled broccoli can also be other options that parents should consider for tiffin ideas, suggests the expert.

4. Keep surprising

Add a healthy treat in their lunch box every day, but avoid discussing it with your child. Let him or her have the excitement of finding out what it is they have been given today. Doing so will make them happy and they will eat it with joy. You can also leave a little note in the lunch to make them happier.

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Surprise your kid with these healthy lunch ideas. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

5. Don’t pack too many items at once

While it is good to mix things up when you pack lunch for your kids, it is important not to give too many things at once. Dr Kathwate says that your child will pick their favourite and leave things they don’t want. It is better to keep the combination of fruits and 1 main item such as a sandwich or fruits to make sure they eat it.

Make your little one a better eater than a fussy eater with these tips to prepare a lunchbox ideas! Happy parenting!

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