Instead of just packing up whatever lunch you think is fine, let your kids be part of the lunch planning. Carden says, "I like to use the word 'foodstorm.' It's my own little creation — a way of saying 'communicate with your kids.'"
If you don't want your kids to toss their lunch or trade it for less than healthy meals, "foodstorm" with your kids. Talk with them about the foods they like and the kind of lunches they want to take to school. "The more they know and the more they help, the [more they] will begin to take ownership and eat their lunch," adds Carden.
Carden suggests making lunch fun and adding variety to every lunch (but only after you discuss it with your kids). Here are a few more of Carden's tips:
In a pinch, a plain old banana can become a hot dog! This is a funny and different way to serve this fruit. Put it in front of your kids and watch their reaction. Let your kids help add the "mustard" — though it may be messy, it is sure to get them interested. And it's a great way to use up your old hamburger or hot dog buns. Serve with banana chips for the ultimate tropical experience.
Place the peeled banana in a bun. Fill two zip-top baggies — one with jelly and the other with peanut butter. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of each bag, and squeeze jelly and peanut butter out onto the banana as you would mustard and ketchup. Eat and enjoy.
Recipe from The Toddler Café© by Jennifer Carden
The Toddler Café© is a cookbook made with love by Jennifer and Matthew Carden. Jennifer is a chef, author, food stylist, teacher, artist and mom whose innovative ideas and humorous slant on feeding children have led her to develop cookbooks and products that help parents feed their children healthy, quick and uncomplicated food. Matthew, Jennifer's husband, is a lifestyle photographer whose fine art photography is shown and collected internationally. Together they created The Toddler Café©, a tasty compendium of 50 inventive but simple recipes and creative tips on making mealtime with your kids fun and interactive. This is a cookbook that every parent can use!
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