Life is busy, especially for the full-time parent who has to get the kids out of bed, dressed, fed, and out the door for school, before heading off for their own full day of work. When you’re feeling time-poor, the easy choices, the shortcuts that make you forget to craft that healthy sandwich for your kids, become the norm. Soon, instead of a healthy lunch and a full day of energy, your kids get a pack of Twisties, a sugar loaded muesli bar. They are falling asleep at their desk for the final two hours of the day. It makes for unhealthy habits.
So how do you make healthy habits? It starts, of course, with the lunchbox.
Don’t give your kids a choice! On your weekly grocery rounds, buy apples instead of muesli bars, cheese instead of chocolate, carrots instead of chips — we all know children can be difficult, and often lunchboxes come home not quite empty, but if all you give them are healthy choices, chances are they will eat some of it. By not giving your children the option of an unhealthy choice, you are teaching them to substitute a healthy snack for a treat.
That is not to say that your children should not have a choice: find out why things weren’t eaten and what your children enjoy. If you give your children a choice of what healthy items they would like to eat, they begin to feel empowered to make their own healthy decisions.
The Right Lunchbox
Make preparing the meal easy for you. NUDE Food Movers has a variety of lunchboxes that simply take the decision out of your hands: the Sandwich Box, the Snack Box, the Snack Tubes that click together and make it easy for your child to eat their meals throughout the day, the Yogurt Mover, the Snack and Dip box and the Fruity Mover, available from Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Officeworks, Target and Kmart all year round in different colours and sizes. These lunchboxes simplify the decision of what your child should eat. Moreover, by separating the lunchboxes into individual components, your child can have something different everyday, which means more variety and more flexibility to your morning routine.
The NUDE Food Movers make it easy for your child to clean up after themselves. All their leftovers can be placed back in the container without affecting other elements of the lunchbox. It is better for the environment; you are not only saving the school grounds from scores of discarded rubbish, but are teaching your kids to dispose of rubbish responsibly, at home, where you can keep an eye on them. It’s all about forming healthy habits.
Let your kids do it
The best way to teach your kids is to have them make it themselves. Lunchboxes like NUDE’s Rubbish Free Lunchbox and EnviroBox are compartmentalised precisely so that you or your kids can fill them. Not only does it separate foods to avoid cross contamination, but the compartments offer the right proportions for your kids. The SmashBox from Smash is not only compartmentalised for different snacks, but has a detachable insulated jacket to keep food cold for those early, hot Back to School days. All these lunchboxes are dishwasher friendly and durable for the rough and tumble of the schoolyard.
Your kids can organise their own lunches according to each compartment. This makes for a well-proportioned varied lunchbox. And, by letting them try themselves, you are also empowering them to make their own choices, and letting them reap the rewards of their own efforts. These are foods that they have chosen after all, making it more likely that they’ll eat everything.
Lead by example
Children need choices, but healthy choices, and it all begins with the lunchbox. How you treat the lunchbox is an important step to forming healthy habits, not only in your children, but also in yourself.
So try it yourself. Buy your own lunchbox, make your own lunch. Put yourself in a position of healthy eating and your kids will do the same.
Words: Alana Lopez