Getting Kids To Eat Lunch At School

Posted on: 14 September 2015

Since 2012, schools across the country have been obligated to alter their old menus. The foods that many kids were used to at lunch have been replaced with healthier, sometimes unknown options. Why aren't these kids eating their lunches at school and what can you do as a parent to make sure that your kids get enough to eat each day? 

Why don't the kids like the healthier options?

How often do you serve sweet potato fries on your dinner table? Do you choose whole grain pasta for your spaghetti? These are just two examples of the things that are being served to your kids at school. These small changes do provide dietary benefits, but it can take some kids quite a while to adapt to the new taste and texture of the new foods.  

What can you do to encourage your kids to eat the new foods at school?

Try serving your kids new foods at the dinner table. Try sneaking in the whole grain pasta for this week's spaghetti. If you can serve your kids some of the things at home that they are served at school, their taste palettes may become more accustomed to the taste and texture and it may no longer be a problem.

Should you pack a lunch and forget about school lunches?

This is one way that parents are making sure that their kids are getting enough to eat at lunch. Unfortunately, this isn't always a fix for the problem. Kids are still coming home with half-eaten lunches. What you pack could have an impact on how much your kids eat.

Easy on the Drinks – Kids tend to reach for their drinks before they go for the food in their lunch sacks. Pack a low-calorie drink that is small. Think about a small box of apple juice. That way, your kids get to quench their thirst, benefit from the serving of fruit and cannot fill their little bellies with drinks instead of food.

Easy Open Packages – If your kids can't open the packages that the foods are in, they won't easily be able to eat everything. If your kids can't open the packages, open them at home and stick them in a sandwich baggie. The easier it is for your kids to get to the food, the more likely they will be to eat it.

Limit the Options – Instead of packing a little bit of everything that your kids enjoy in their lunch sacks, pack only a few things. The fewer decisions your kids have to make about what they eat first, the sooner they can eat it all.

If you have concerns about your kids' eating habits at school, talk with school nutrition service professionals, such as those from New Horizon Foods, to find out what can be done to improve the situation.