Parent Asks:

How can I get my children to eat more nutritious school lunchbox meals?

Educator Answers:

Spring is a great time to stimulate an interest in tasty fruits and vegetables—especially when the kids can take an active part in growing, picking, and preparing them for lunches. In a medium to small patch of ground or several pots, have the kids turn the soil and plant seeds or seedlings of cherry tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, celery, peas, radishes, spinach, strawberries, or melons. These easy to wash and eat foods are nutritious and easy to slip into sealed bags for hurried lunch-making routines.

If the "mini-farm" option is not workable, consider having your children assist you in selecting fresh fruits and vegetables from a local Farmer's Market or the produce section at the grocery store. Empower your children to make choices and urge them to select new fruits and vegetables that the family might not have tasted before.

Another option to stimulate eating more fruits and vegetables could include food preparation. Turn your nutrition goal into a "recipe research project" with your children looking up ways to prepare new fruit or vegetable lunchbox goodies.