‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lunch Boxes For Picky Pie Holes

Back to school is here! Sending pint-sized pie holes to school with a healthy lunch is important for their health, eating habits, brain function... Yada yada yada. We all know why it's important. Let's discuss some ways to get kids not only eating their lunch, but also excited about their lunch.

When kids are young, often they are happy with the same, or similar foods on a daily basis. But as kids get older, their palates develop and their food repertoire increases.

A starting point is finding out what your kids want for lunch. Of course, there are boundaries: 3 hot dogs, an ice cream sundae and a spit roast don't really fall into the 'healthy' category. But seriously, getting kids involved in their lunch choices and lunch preparation is a sure-fire way to increase the likelihood of them eating it - as a side note, it's also a 'teachable moment', where parents can explain and show how to pack a balanced lunch (a life skill).

Lunch ideas:
PB&J - But not the one you're thinking of
  • Use wholemeal or wholegrain bread
  • Use peanut butter where the only ingredient is 'peanuts'
  • Substitute jam with sliced seasonal fruit (strawberries, apple, pear, etc)
Other sandwiches
  • Lettuce, tomato, left over chicken/turkey slices. Sub the mayo with avocado or hummus
  • Tuna salad: Made with minimal mayo, spice it up with some dried dill and garlic, get crazy and add tomato slices and/or a piece of cheese
  • Roasted veggies (from last night): A mix of capsicum, zucchini, eggplant (or whatever veggies they like) sliced, thrown on a baking sheet, brushed lightly with olive oil and spices - voila!
Wraps - The sandwich alternative
  • Wholegrain or wholemeal tortilla/flat bread
  • Add a base: Hummus, avocado, salsa or mustard are good choices
  • Add fillings that include either fresh veggies like lettuce, tomato, shredded carrot, sliced pickles or olives, or cooked/roasted veggies
  • Add a meat or 'meat alternative' like beans (legumes) if you're going to burrito style, a sliced hard boiled egg, or the traditional chicken/turkey leftovers
  • Make it colourful
    • Good thing veggies are multicoloured
  • Be a bit fancy
    • Cut the sandwich diagonally 
    • Slice the wrap into 2 inch thick 'pinwheel' slices 
  • Add a frozen pack (or even a small frozen water bottle) to the lunchbox to keep items chilled
  • Low fat/non fat yoghurt
  • Sliced cheese
  • Fruit
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Popcorn (plain is best, or for extra flavour add some dried herbs)
  • Granola (homemade is best because it'll be lower in sugar, salt and fat)
  • Celery with cottage cheese or peanut butter spread in the crevice

'Sometimes foods' like the individually wrapped bags of chips, a homemade cookie or muffin are definitely acceptable a couple of times a week. In many ways, this is also a 'teachable moment' because you're demonstrating healthy moderation and portion control, rather than imposing impossible restrictions.

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