At a loss of how to spice up your kid's lunchbox day after day and keep it healthy at the same time? Glean tips and tricks from these Vitality moms and dads.
We all know that packing a lunchbox in a hurry can mean rummaging through a fridge or pantry and chucking in whatever fits, or just sending your child to school with money for the tuck shop! But being mindful about what your kids eat at school can drastically influence their eating habits for life.
Why packing healthy lunchboxes is worth the effort
"Chronic diseases of lifestyle like diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and certain cancers seldom affect one's quality of life before middle age. However, the processes that cause these lifestyle diseases actually begin in childhood," says Terry Harris, a dietitian at Discovery Vitality.
"It's within the early years of a child's life that the fundamentals of healthy eating are developed - and of course when parents have the most influence over their children's diets," she adds.
In other words - your approach to nutrition and the example you set in healthy eating habits sends a message to your kids about what to eat, how much and why. It can also significantly affect their future health - so it's well worth training your kids well from a young age.
Tips and tricks from Vitality parents
With some planning, creativity and perhaps a little clever cajoling, you can help your kids embrace healthy foods, even if they're picky eaters. We turned to Discovery Vitality's Facebook page to ask Vitality parents for first-hand advice. Here's what they had to say:
"Kids are drawn to anything that looks good, so be creative with their food," says Tshenolo Masilela. "You know what your child enjoys - team it up with what you know is good for them."
Sarah Wollenschlaeger suggests: "Have a few core favourites and mix them up so the kids don't get 'menu fatigue'. Include a mix of textures, colours and sweet and salty tastes." Hawa Queen adds that she cuts sandwiches and fruits into shapes to make them more exciting.
Find out what other Vitality parents are doing to help their kids eat healthy.
We teach kids to make healthy, tasty food by themselves
Did you know the Vitality HealthyFood Studio offers specialist cooking courses just for kids? These fun and interactive courses will teach your youngsters how to prepare nutritious, appetising meals by themselves, equip them with practical life skills and help to instil healthy eating habits from an early age.
The courses, presented in partnership with Woolworths and Prue Leith Chefs Academy, are open to kids aged 8 to 12, and are held at our Sandton-based studio.
Feed your family good health with Vitality HealthyFood
Discovery Vitality's HealthyFood benefit, created by a team of nutrition and health experts, aims to promote good health and lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Vitality members can earn up to 25% cash back at Pick n Pay or Woolworths for their healthy food purchases.
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