It’s important for kids to start learning about food from as young an age as possible. The sooner they experiment, play with food and explore their taste buds, the sooner they can start to develop a healthy relationship with food. (Always remember to provide child-safe utensils and to supervise the proceedings.)
Below, we provide even more reasons why we think it’s a great idea for kids to pack their own lunches.
To learn responsibility.
It’s a wonderful way for kids to learn responsibility and time management. Create a routine by deciding on a set-time together, in the evening or morning, and make sure that it is followed through each day. Gets kids to help with the shopping so that they already start to make food decisions at the grocery store.
To gain self-confidence.
It’s great to feel accomplished or proud of what you have created, and this feeling can be instilled in your child each day. (Little ones can lend a hand by helping to fill water bottles, tubs with nuts and containers with fruit.)
To become less picky.
Getting picky eaters to pack their own lunches is a way to get them to eat a variety of foods as they will be more likely to eat something that they have created.
To learn about nutrition.
Encourage kids to ask questions as they go, such as how things should be packed to last longer, why each food item is good for them, and why some are not – like sugar. They should also be encouraged to start figuring out how certain foods make them feel and making the choices to eat them or not.
To enhance creativity.
Children have fewer boundaries than adults, therefore, they will be more willing to put contradictory flavours together; this is a perfect way for them to learn what ingredients work together and which ones don’t. Educating the palate in this way will help to broaden their food library. They can also start to explore how textures can play a role in making a dish taste good and the importance of “eating with your eyes”.
To understand about food preparation.
Such examples include leaving an apple whole because it can go brown or squeezing some lemon juice over the slices to prevent this from happening. Making a sandwich with lots of wet ingredients can go soggy, but lettuce leaves can help the bread stay dry.
To have better performance.
Listening to their bodies will help them understand that their food choices play a role in their body’s performance. Eating better can help them perform better in class and give them more energy for playtime/ sports.
To practise freedom of expression.
Role playing in the kitchen is a great way to make food preparation fun. Pretending that they are presenters on a cooking show or teaching their siblings how to cook, is a wonderful way to set their imaginations free.
To become self-sufficient.
It’s never too early to provide kids with skills they will be able to use in later life. Cooking is one of the best skills anyone can have. Not only so that they can eat healthier, but so that they can share meals with others.
To learn the importance of mealtime.
By preparing their own lunches and sitting down to eat them, kids will start to associate healthy food with meal times. Eating should not be a quick-fix, to fill the belly so that they can move onto something else, it should be an act of nourishing the body. Children should see food as something to be savoured, appreciated and celebrated.
The sooner we can start to educate children about food, the sooner we can start to ensure that they turn into healthy adults with few food issues.
With 100’s of Banting recipes to choose from in the Online Program, you can mix and match your way to 365 days of packed lunches. There’s never been a better time to start! Let’s get you, and your family, excited about healthy food. Join now.