The picky eater’s lunch box
According to research, selective eating in children could be attributed to bad experiences with certain foods. This can often lead to anxiety when forced to eat a certain type of food or being made to try new foods. Some children may also have heightened senses that cause the tastes and textures of certain foods to become overwhelming. Both moderate and severe selective eating habits were also found to be associated with raised symptoms of depression, social anxiety and generalised anxiety.
Habits may vary with picky eaters. One day, your child’s favourite food in the world is peanut butter and jam and the next, they simply won’t touch the stuff. Unfortunately, if left unaddressed, continuous picky eating can result in a limited diet and a lack of adequate nutrition.
But there are strategies you can use to help make picky eating kids a little more adventurous. One of the best is to involve your child in preparing meals or whatever will be going into their school lunchbox. This is because picky eaters are often willing to try a food if they've been involved in preparing it. Below is a recipe supplied by Sasko which your child can help prepare. These little bread baskets also make a fantastic lunchbox addition.
SASKO Whole Wheat Mince Bread Basket
12 slices SASKO Low GI Whole Wheat Brown Bread
50g melted butter
450g cooked mince (add your favourite addition to the mince)
1 cup grated cheese
1. Trim the crusts from the bread and brush one side of each slice with a little melted butter.
2. Place and mould the bread slices, buttered side down into 12 muffin tray.
3. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until crispy.
4. Remove from oven
5. Fill the bread cases evenly with a spoonful of cooked mince and top each with grated cheese.
6. Bake further at 180°C for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Preparing a healthy lunchbox for a picky eater is a challenge faced by many parents. Here are a few tips to help as well as a great healthy lunchbox recipe / idea from Sasko.
Focus on the healthy food they do like. For example, if your child is not a fan of fruit, but they happily gobble up anything crunchy, then pack their lunchboxes with goodies like fresh carrot sticks or cucumber slices and complement these with a dollop of yoghurt or cottage cheese.
Incorporate small portions of different healthy snacks into their lunchbox to give children variety and a sense of choice.
Don’t include foods that you know your child dislikes in the hope that this will “force” them to eat it. It won’t - picky eaters will often rather go hungry than eat something they think will be unpleasant.
Cranberry Basil Chicken Sandwich
2 slices SASKO Low GI Cranberry Brown Bread
2 tablespoons mayo
60g shredded chicken
Handful baby spinach
Several basil leaves
Butter to spread
Fresh cracked black pepper
1. Lightly toast the SASKO Cranberry brown bread then spread both pieces with butter.
2. Top 1 buttered slice with spinach and basil leaves.
3. Mix chicken & mayo and add on leaves.
4. Crack fresh pepper and place the remaining empty slice on top.