WNY Family Magazine September 2018 - Page 54

eat just about anything if they can dip it. Some popular dips: preserves, apple butter, honey, hummus or oth- er bean dip, cream cheese (dairy or soy), nut butter, ranch or other salad dressing, or salsa. Include a small plastic knife and crackers, broc- coli “trees,” or celery sticks. If your child likes it, the food stands a bet- ter chance of getting eaten.  Toss in a little snack food, such as pickles, olives, corn chips, pretzels, applesauce cups, yogurt, tortilla chips; yes, even the occasional po- tato chip. What’s For Lunch? B ack to school, now what’s for lunch? Lunch can be fun or a battle of the wills, de- pending on your child and the challenge. Do you “bring or buy”? Picky eater? Nu- trition? Food allergies? Safety is the top priority. Cafeteria food choices have im- proved over the years, but all schools are not equal. Some schools tailor choices for each child’s needs, others still have more pizza than salads. For many reasons, we may prefer to pack a lunch for our families. It’s a way to remind them they’re special, guarantee safe choices, and tailor for their nutrition. Boredom can be beaten with an interesting variety, and, more importantly, by including your child in the process. Ask them what they like to eat, and pack it for them. Better yet, have them help make the lunch. Having said that, do plan for the social exchange, and make the ground rules clear. You want them to eat healthy; they’re trying to trade the apple for cookies. Pack more of what your child likes and let them know what they can — and cannot — trade. If your child has food allergies, reinforce strict no trading 54 WNY Family September 2018 policies, and role play as they get older what are safe/unsafe choices. A few school lunch tips:  Vary the bread. — Pita – the small ones are ideal for younger children — Taco shell – hard or soft shell — English muffins — Bagels – mini bagels are easier to eat on the go than the larger sizes — Waffles — Lettuce leaf – crispy and nutri- tious  Rather than a sandwich, try pack- ing a muffin, banana bread, or other quick bread.  Make it bite size. Place cubes of ham, cheese, and crackers sent in separate containers. Bite size good- ies can be made out of just about anything. Mini meatballs, spring rolls, watermelon wedges, anything you can serve on a toothpick has po- tential. Any meat, fruit, vegetable, spread, crackers can become an in- teresting, different mini-meal.  Dips and spreads — Most kids will  If your child is younger than middle school, they may enjoy the same old thing in a new shape. Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches look like a train, heart, or favorite char- acter. Kids of all ages like their fruit and vegetables cut up. Take a few extra minutes to make apple slices or peel the orange, and it may not come back at the end of the day.  Leftovers are an easy way to have variet vF֖VbgW72WB6R6W"6ƒFW"Ц2R6B66V6BЧv6r&WBƗGFR6FRF6`7F"FF6CbBv2v@VVvf"FW"FF6Rb@6VB&RW7BfRf"V6F"Ч&rF2WfVv&2f"BFw0B'W&vW'2( BVBBW@FW&26VBvF'V2@6FVG2FR6FR6fRF6PWF6WBW7F&B62g&ЧFVWBbFRgV276V&ƖpbN( 2FRV7