July 24, 2017

Getting my son to eat his veggies is a daily battle the two of us play out like tired actors. We both know how it will end up. After 20 to 30 minutes of coaxing, he will take just a tiny nibble to appease me and I will be frustrated that he's wasting food and not eating the healthy nutrients I know his body needs, but too exhausted to keep up the fight. More often than not, his lunchbox comes home from school with a full container of uneaten peppers, cucumbers or whatever veggie I tucked in between his beloved yogurt and fruit.

I know I'm not alone. According to the CDC, 93% of kids are not eating enough vegetables. Fruit is a little better, but still 60 percent of kids don't eat enough to meet the daily recommendations. Depending on their age, gender and physical activity, kids should be eating 1 to 2 cups of fruit and 1 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.

Honestly? Getting my kids to eat that amount of produce every day seems like an insurmountable hurdle. But here's why I don't let up: Research shows that it can take as many as 10 to 15 tastes before a child will learn to appreciate a new flavor. Offering your kids a variety of nutritious foods shows them what a balanced diet looks like and sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.

I'm learning that it helps if you can add some fun to mealtime and take the focus off the "eat your veggies" part. These three lunchbox-art ideas make it fun for kids to eat a healthy lunch. They want to show them off to their friends at school and-best of all-eat them!

Silly-Face Veggie Sandwich

Get your kids excited to eat their veggies with this fun veggie-face sandwich. Pack up the parts separately so they can create the face themselves and they may be even more inclined to eat it.

Mini Cucumber Caterpillars

Kids will love eating their veggies when you turn mini cucumbers into fun caterpillar treats ready for dunking in their favorite dip! Cutting the mini cucumbers every 1/2 inch or so gives you extra places to sneak in more veggies.

Rainbow Yogurt Bowl

Arrange vibrant, colorful fruit in the shape of a rainbow on top of yogurt for a fun and delicious healthy treat kids will actually want to eat. Or pack up the fruit separately, so kids can create their own rainbow.

Video: How to Make Lunch Box Art Kids Will Love