Yes, we are here, the first week of preparing back to school dinners! Do you feel like you are already running out of healthy meal ideas to get your kids (and the big kids) back to the table for week two? This follow up post from last week’s, 3 Simple Tips for Back to School Breakfasts & 4 Simple Tips for Back to School Snacks will hopefully give you some new ideas on how to put together some healthy dinners and wholesome lunches the whole family can get involved in!
If you can teach kids at a young age about healthy food choices and the fun to be had shopping, preparing and cooking food, they are more likely to grow up with a healthy attitude towards making balanced food choices and enjoying wholefoods and homemade meals rather than store bought processed meals.
Here are some Simple Tips for Back to school Dinners:
When I have conducted cooking classes for students of all ages I notice that kids love to make up their own salads. So, for great back to school dinners and lunches have a selection of healthy ingredients out on the table such as shredded chicken, chopped ham or left over shredded roast meats, maybe a selection of grains like rice noodles, brown rice and/or lentils and chickpeas and then a range of vegetables, salads items, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, baby corn or carrots, sprouts and get the kids to make up their own salad combinations, create little food stations at home.
Healthy pizzas and burgers are a fantastic way of getting the kids into the kitchen to help and if they are helping in the preparation you are more likely going to get them to eat the food that they have proudly prepared.
Keep the sweet sauces, dressings to a minimal and perhaps make your own tomato sauce and fruit toppings using fresh fruits to pour over ice creams.
Using skewers, sticks, noodle boxes, chop sticks, straws and fresh fruit ice blocks can make food playful and fun for kids to put food together and take to school to enjoy.
Get the kids involved in the shopping taking them to food markets, local farms where they can pick their own produce or collect eggs and teach them about where food comes from, involving them in menu planning and choosing recipes from cook books and magazines that they like gives them a sense of ownership.