Vancouver – With school starting up in one week for thousands of students across the province, nutrition experts at BC Children’s Hospital want to share some fresh ideas to help parents and caregivers prep those lunch boxes.
Involve your kids: Take your kids to the grocery store and have them help choose the menu. When children have invested time and energy in their lunches they’re more likely to eat them. Make grocery shopping fun by involving kids in picking themes or colours to guide lunch choices.
It takes two: When prepping morning snacks for recess, choose two foods from two different food groups for a balanced diet. For example, cheese and crackers or yogurt and fruit.
Eat the rainbow: Colourful fruits and vegetables are great ways to add nutrition. You can chop up some green, red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, green beans, and celery for crunchy snacks and add a healthy dip like hummus. Strawberries, kiwis, and oranges are also great sources of Vitamin C.
Infuse your water: Add extra flavor to your water bottle with strawberries, oranges, watermelon, cucumbers or mint, for a fun and healthy alternative to pop.
Think outside the average lunch box: Look for attractive reusable lunch packaging that can keep food cool or warm depending on the dish. Presentation is important – sometimes more so for children.
Work together: Work with your children and family to make healthy eating a priority. Set an example and remember that it takes time to develop good habits. Encourage each other along the way.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Chanoine, Head, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes
“With a little time and attention, food can be made healthy and fun for kids of all ages. Make small changes to start, and add more ideas in when you can. The start of a new school year is a great time for everyone to renew their approaches to food.”
Lorrie Chow, Registered Dietitian, Metabolic Program, Mental Health
“Lunches are important for growing, learning bodies. By finding nutritious foods and fun ways to share those foods, BC children will be better equipped to concentrate on school and all other facets of their lives.”
BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, including newborns and adolescents. It is an academic health centre affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Child & Family Research Institute. Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children is the provincial facility that offers specialized child development and rehabilitation services to children and youth.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Media pager 604-871-5699