July 31, 2009

Dietitian: Put fun back into a bag lunch

A U.S. dietitian says it is one thing to make a healthy lunch, it's another to persuade a child to eat the lunch.

Pediatric dietitian Angie Eshleman of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore advises making lunch more appealing by getting children involved.

Instead of automatically making a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, let a child tell you that she'd rather have ham on multigrain, Eshleman says.

Why throw an apple into your son's lunch box when he would rather have carrots? she asks. If children like dressing, pack a small container of low-fat ranch, Eshleman advises.

For instance, one of the best ways to make sure your kids like their lunches is to let them be in on the planning and packing process, Eshleman says in statement. It may take a little longer in the beginning, but they'll like having a choice and be more apt to eat their food.

For kids tired of the same old foods, Eshleman suggests a pasta salad with different color pasta or a cheese wrap, instead of a cheese sandwich.