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Can you believe it’s back to school already? Preparing for the next school year can be fun, but it also comes with some challenges.

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One of the most difficult tasks is deciding what to pack for your child’s lunch each day. It’s important to make sure kids get enough nutrients so they have enough energy to learn and play, but what if you have a picky eater?

It’s common for children to have negative reactions to certain foods, so know that you, along with many other families, are in the same boat.

As Goderich’s dietitian, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks for packing your lunches this upcoming school year.

Remember that appetites fluctuate – Just like an adult, a child’s appetite is not always the same. One day they might be eating a lot and another day they might not be very hungry. There are many different factors – such as growth spurts, their activity level and what they ate the day before – that can impact their appetite levels. They might not be interested in eating at every meal, so send a variety of snacks in case they get hungry outside of the designated lunch time.

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Only control what you can – Once your child is on the school bus with their packed lunch, your job is done. As a parent, your job is to help guide what’s packed in your child’s lunch box while it’s your child’s job to decide how much to eat, so try not to worry about what is happening at school. Trust yourself to have prepared a nutritious lunch with lots of variety and be sure your child knows when they are hungry or full.

No food is “good” or “bad” – I’m sure we’ve all heard a line like “if you don’t finish your vegetables, you can’t have dessert” at some point in our lives. While the intent behind this statement is often in the right place, it’s important to remember that labeling certain foods as forbidden can create a negative relationship with food for your child in the long run. It’s a good reminder that all foods are part of a balanced diet, even this cookie.

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It can be difficult to find the best approach to nutrition, but that’s why I’m here. If you are struggling with your child’s nutrition, I can support you and your family on the unique nutrition journey.

As a Goderich Registered Dietitian at Zehrs, I offer a range of services, such as virtual one-on-one consultations, in-person “Shop with the Dietitian” store visits, and recipe ideas.

To learn more about which nutrition service might be right for you and your family, schedule a free discovery call with me at zehrs.ca/dietitians.

Roasted Vegetable and Whole Grain Hummus Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) rounds
  • 1 cup coarsely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp teaspoon each sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 whole grain whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/3 cup hummus chickpea dip and spread
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula, lightly packed

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the bell pepper, zucchini, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until tender and golden. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Lay the tortillas flat on the work surface. Divide the hummus and spread it in the center of each tortilla. Arrange the roasted vegetables in a straight line over the hummus. Garnish with tomatoes, pine nuts, feta and arugula. Roll up tightly and cut in half diagonally.

Sydney Brennan, Registered Dietitian, Zehrs Goderich

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