#LancheiraDoDia: mothers are on social media assembling their children’s lunch boxes; see which foods to prioritize | Health

Heart-shaped fruits, breads cut into different shapes, little notes, colorful and playful pots. Just log on to social media to find the #lancheiradodia trend. in it, Mothers give tips to assemble lunch boxes that are attractive to children and also share healthier recipes for the little ones.

Paloma Boff is one of those influencers. She lives in Portugal with her husband and daughter, Valentina, and it takes between 15 and 30 minutes to assemble and record the video. For her, the lunch box is a “love box”. “In the lunch box I can convey love. She knows that I took care of her, I loved doing that for her”, she says.

The assembly of Luna’s lunch box — Photo: Dani Lima/Personal archive

Dani Lima agrees with Paloma. She lives in Rio de Janeiro and also shows her 2-year-old daughter Luna’s lunch boxes on social media.

“It’s a way of showing affection, care. I realize the impact is positive when I see her replicate this in her play. Always in the morning, she prepares the ‘snack for the dolls’ and says she’s going to do it ‘just like Mom makes Luna’s’”, says Dani.

Dani Lima and daughter Luna, 2 years old — Photo: Dani Lima/Personal archive

In addition, influencers believe that this moment is essential to create a good relationship with food.

“This activity means the opportunity to take my daughter to create a good relationship with food and with the act of eating itself, in a place where it is possible to eat in a varied, healthy and fun way, without pressure and without trauma!”, explains Dani.

This exchange of experiences is even essential for the development of children, as pediatrician Pedro Cavalcante explains.

“When we include the child in the preparation of any food, we start to create a relationship with what he is doing. She will relate food to a moment of happiness“, explains Cavalcante, who is also a member of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics.

Paloma Boff and daughter Valentina — Photo: Paloma Boff/Personal archive

What to put in the lunch box?

Paloma, Valentina’s mother, says that after her videos went viral on social media, researched more about what items to include in her daughter’s lunch box. In addition, he also learned healthier recipes. “As there was this lunch box boom, I did a lot of research and learned what I should have in my daughter’s lunch. I always put carbohydrate, protein, fruit and water“, it says.

And Valentina’s mother is right. According to experts, parents should prioritize three food groups in their lunch box:

  • Group 1: Fruits and vegetables
  • Group 2: Carbohydrate – brings energy (grain-based foods and breads, popcorn)
  • Group 3: Protein – helps with growth and satiety (milk, cheese, eggs and other sources like chicken pate, tuna)

And what’s the drink? Water! It is important for the child to hydrate throughout the day. Therefore, a bottle full of water is a mandatory item in the lunch box.

“Always prioritize water. Juices stimulate the consumption of sugar. Ready-made juices, like nectar, have more sugar than fruit. It is always better for the child to eat fruit and drink water.“, guides nutritionist Ariana Ester Fernandes, member of the Department of Childhood Obesity at Abeso (Brazilian Association for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome).

According to the nutritionist, the amount of food will depend on age, hunger, how long the child stays at school and what period is the snack (morning or afternoon).

Below are some suggestions for combinations, according to Abeso (see the lunch box recipes):

What to pack in the lunch box? — Photo: Art/g1

Another key point when assembling the lunch box is knowing what the child wants. Ariana says that It is always important to talk to the child about food, to understand preferences and what they don’t like.

Dani, Luna’s mother, has already discovered what can’t be missing in her daughter’s lunch box: fruits. “Luna is fascinated by the colors and the different flavors of the fruits, and whenever she can, I like to put more than one fruit option, because I know she will love it“, account.

It is also possible to open “exceptions” once a week. “Sometimes the child wants to take a juice, a stuffed cookie. You can fit, but you also need to think about the amount. You will not send a package of stuffed cookies, for example”, guides the nutritionist of Abeso.

Messages that Dani sends to Luna — Photo: Dani Lima/Personal archive

Most importantly, according to the nutritionist, is planning and organization.

“You need to think about what you’re going to have in your lunch box. If you think about it every day, you don’t have time to plan. Try to organize yourself and also involve the child. We won’t always give in, but it’s possible to include ‘unhealthy’ foods once in a while”, emphasizes Ariana Fernandes.

See some important points:

  • Plan the week’s snacks and organize the shopping list
  • After purchase, sanitize vegetables, vegetables, fruits and keep them stored in the refrigerator
  • Organize food preparation
  • Sanitize the lunch box whenever the child comes home from school.
  • Wrap the sandwiches in cling film, zip-up bag, or put them in a plastic container.
  • Prefer a thermal material lunch box
  • If possible, try to produce more playful dishes, an attraction for children
  • Offer foods that children don’t like in other ways

The assembly of Valentina’s lunch box — Photo: Paloma Boff/Personal archive

The importance of eating well

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, proteins and good fats helps maintain a quality of life, in addition to reducing the risk of metabolic diseases.

“Food is essential for the child’s growth and development. If we encourage children to eat healthier from early childhood, avoiding ultra-processed foods, this child will have a reserve of vitamins and nutrients for their development. Healthy eating is a thought for the future“, explains pediatrician Pedro Cavalcante.

In addition to offering healthier foods, parents should also create a favorable environment for their children. “If the parents don’t have healthy habits, the child won’t either. The family needs to follow the same lifestyle”, guides Cavalcante.

The pediatrician warns that Parents should avoid ultra-processed foods as much as possible. However, they shouldn’t feel guilty if they can’t put together the “dream lunch box” every day. “It’s okay not to be able to handle everything every daybut this cannot become a habit, especially because of the excess sugar and sodium”.

Mothers are booming on social media assembling their children’s lunch boxes — Photo: Paloma Boff/Personal archive

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