Make Real Food Fun

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Today’s Lunch

LOVE IT FOODS: strawberries, canteloupe

LIKE IT FOODS: whole-milk/organic/plain yogurt + some fruit preserves, @bitsysbrainfood crackers, edamame

LEARNING IT: homemade snack mix, red pepper slices

Make Real Food Fun

My first lunchbox since our baby girl was born! It feels good to be back to this little labor of love. Some would argue these early days of postpartum isn't the time to be making heart-shaped foods for my daughter's lunch. While the sleep-deprived side of me can understand this on some levels, I would also argue an opposing viewpoint.

As lunch-packing parents, we should never feel the pressure to "make food fun" for the sake of getting our kids to eat it. As Ellyn Satter has suggested, we should never put more energy into getting our kids to eat, than they do towards actually eating. Instead, it is important that we train our kids to eat food as it is. With this, we also accepting that presentation does matter -- to all ages. As adults respond positively to a healthy meal that is plated and presented in an appealing way, kids also respond better to foods that are made to look fun and appetizing.

Food manufacturers feed off of this when making processed foods! From fun-shapes to creative packaging that appeals to the eyes, young kids are especially enticed by how food appears. Parents should not feel the need to compete with the marketability of these foods, but realize that your child's lunchbox is up against their peers. How theirs presents will be beside those that have artificially colored this and fun shapes of that. This isn't a threat but rather an admonishment to not get in a lunch packing rut. There are too many ways to make real food fun, with minimal to no extra effort!

You don't need to create excessively adorable bento boxes to convince your kid that healthy food is appealing. Instead, experiment with what simple and yet creative ways you could combine colors, shapes, textures, and tastes to appeal to your child. Natural food is beautiful on its own, and your child will enjoy seeing this as you show them so.

Don't forget to follow #loveitlikeitlearning on Instagram it to find more ideas and examples of how to apply this, or to share your own!