Home' Island Sun : ISN 082815 Contents 37
ISLAND SUN - AUGUST 28, 2015
by Shelley M.
the worst things I
have to face about
my kids going back
to school is the daily
is required. My kids
can be picky eaters,
but I know how important eating healthy
is so I do work hard at making them a
nutritious lunch. It’s frustrating and I have
already run out of good lunch ideas and
school has just started. Any suggestions?
Kris B., Fort Myers Beach
I empathize with you. Making a
healthy lunch for your children is very
important but does take time away from
other more enjoyable activities. Packing
school lunches that kids will like and are
easy to eat can be a challenge.
Amy Reed, a registered dietitian at
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, says that
there are many reasons why kids may
not eat well at lunchtime. Some of these
• Time constraints. All schools are
different, but some students get only a
15-minute window to eat their lunch.
This is often not enough time for young
kids, who are likely socializing, to eat.
• A desire to stay clean. Some kids
choose not to eat lunch if they feel their
meal would be too messy.
• Loose teeth. Children with loose or
missing teeth may have more trouble eat-
ing certain foods.
• Too many choices. Some kids may
be overwhelmed if there is too much food
packed into their lunch box.
Reed offered the following sugges-
• Don’t overpack. For children who
have a limited time to eat their lunch or
feel overwhelmed by too much food,
provide smaller portions of nutritious food
from at least four food groups.
• Limit containers. It may take a lot of
time for children to open just one con-
tainer. If they need to open a few, it could
use up valuable time they need to eat
their lunch. In some cases, small children
may not be able to open certain contain-
ers at all. Try packing kids’ lunches in a
bento box – one container that has a few
small compartments with a lid on top.
• Make sure food is easy to eat.
Children who have loose or missing teeth
may need to eat foods that don’t require
biting with their front teeth and can be
chewed on the side of the mouth, such
as lunch meat, lettuce and cheese roll-ups
instead of a sandwich; thin slices of pine-
apple, apples or pears; and cheese sticks,
squeeze yogurt and fruit pouches.
• Limit treats. Children may choose to
eat treats first. If they have limited time,
this may be all they eat. Some kids may
also fill up on treats and never try the
other more nutritious foods in their lunch
• Plan lunch together. Encourage kids
to pack their lunch with items they enjoy
so they are less likely to throw their lunch
away or swap with classmates.
• Celebrate special days. Plan lunch
around special events. For example,
pack an all-red lunch for Valentine’s Day
or include a fortune cookie to celebrate
Chinese New Year.
• Offer choices and try new foods.
Vary protein sources – tuna, peanut but-
ter, turkey or beans – and offer different
whole-grain items such as whole-grain
bread, tortillas or crackers. Rotate whole
pieces of fruit such as bananas, oranges
or grapes and cut-up vegetables like cel-
ery, carrots or broccoli. Pack exotic fruits
such as kiwi, or allow them to pick fruits
and vegetables they want to try at the
• Seek advice. For kids who have
medical problems, food allergies or
sensory issues, eating a variety of foods
may be more difficult. Parents who are
concerned about their child’s food intake
can get help from their pediatrician and a
Shelley Greggs is adjunct faculty at
Florida SouthWestern State College,
where she teaches psychology and
education courses. She is also a nation-
ally certified school psychologist and
consultant for School Consultation
Services, a private educational consult-
ing company. Questions for publication
may be addressed to smgreggs@gmail.
com. Not all questions submitted can
be addressed through this publication.
From page 36
courses in areas that interest older adults. We felt compelled to respond,” said Kathryn
Kelly, CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “Today, volunteer instruc-
tors teach classes that revolve around skill-based learning, like the basics of using email
effectively, physical wellness and the arts.”
This commitment to senior education brought The Heights Center to Shell Point’s
attention, and caught the eye of Dawn Boren, Shell Point’s director of resident life.
“Both Shell Point and The Heights Foundation place a high value on lifelong learn-
ing and the power of volunteerism,” said Boren. “As we learned more about how The
Heights Center serves local seniors, a donation through our Community Thrift Store
seemed like a natural fit – and the start to a promising partnership.”
Since opening in 2011, The Community Thrift Store has donated a portion of its
profits to local nonprofit organizations that support seniors in the greater Southwest
The Community Thrift Store, owned by Shell Point, is located in Miner’s Shopping
Center next to Planet Fitness, on the corner of McGregor Boulevard and Gladiolus in
the Iona area of South Fort Myers. Learn about upcoming “steals and deals” by visit-
ing the store’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thriftstoreshellpoint, or call 225-
6529 for more information.
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