Do you have a fussy eater? Do you worry that they're getting enough food, especially during the school day, to have enough energy to stay alert? My youngest son used to be such a picky eater and I would pack so many different options in his lunch bag spending so much time and effort into putting his school lunch together. Still it would come home uneaten or slightly nibbled. What's a mum to do?
How did we overcome this problem!? Well, first I got my son more involved in cooking, baking and preparing the food for our family so he actually became quite interested. I took him to the grocery store and asked him what he wanted. What I didn't do - make a big deal about it. I got him to help me bake cakes, cookies and bread (using our awesome silicone baking mat!) and we made it fun. We were sure to do lots of taste tests (like a good chef) so he got used to trying things. This eventually extended to him whipping up scrambled eggs and even quiche! He can easily fry up a couple of eggs which is his latest healthy snack if not in the morning than as an afternoon snack!
I got my son to help me in the garden growing cherry tomatoes, strawberries and snowpeas. He couldn't help himself and would pick things and eat them right off the plant. Learning where food comes from has also been very helpful and opened his world of food right up. We have a rule in our family that you have to at least try something. If you don't like it, you don't need to eat it, but you have to try it. So many times my son has tried it, expecting to hate it and actually liked it. How often have I heard 'that's actually pretty good'! If there's a way to package up any new foods he loves to throw it in the lunch bag, we do!
Eventually we worked out that my son loves food with flavour. If it was too bland, he wasn't interested. He regularly helps pack his school lunch (if you need a guide see our School Lunch Starter Kit for school starters!) He became an advocate among his friends for encouraging them to try new foods once he learned to love them. Quite ironic really. An afternoon smoothie is another favourite and I suggest starting simple and letting them lead. It turns out some of my son's favourite foods now include sashimi raw salmon/tuna and oysters. That's a long way from the picky kid he used to be!
My best advice. Don't worry, offer variety, be a great role model yourself and ensure your family all eat a variety of food. Then sky's the limit!