Parents Unite and Take Back Your Cupboards!
It is pretty safe to say that most parents know what good food choices are. The problem is that most kids [like us adults] are motivated by cravings for sweet and salty foods, not carrots. And with such busy lives, parents don’t want to spend limited family time arguing with their children about food.
If you have visions of the multigrain sandwich you spent so much time, planning for and shopping for and making going into the garbage along with the apple you packed your fears may be justified.
We make lunch for thousands for kids in elementary schools every day and here’s what we see. The “healthy” stuff is often accompanied by a whole range of snacks meant to be eaten after. But kids don’t eat food at school in the order you intended and eat the sweet salty treats first and wash them down with the drink and then feel full.
This type of “full” does not last. Kids run out of the fuel they need to learn before the school day ends. When they get home they are really hungry and unfortunately start to rummage around in your snack stash because it is easy, it is portable and can be eaten while on the computer.
In real terms, this means that you have inadvertently enabled your kids to live mostly on snacks since breakfast.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Accept that kids eat the easiest foods first and plan for it. If you are worried that they will eat the cookies first, then pack only one cookie so that the treat will not be enough to fill them up. The need to eat will move them on to the healthier offerings in the lunch bag
2) Remember you are the keeper of the cupboard. You decide how many treats you will buy for the week. When they are gone, do not buy more. Bring out the carrots, the whole grain bread and the shredded cheese and flour tortillas. Hungry kids really will eat anything.
Good luck. Be strong. Remember YOU are the parent.