How To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthier At Lunch

By KBJR News 1

November 16, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 7:47 PM CDT

Want kids to eat a healthier lunch at school?

According to Cornell University research presented at the school nutrition national conference in New York, getting kids to make healthy choices may be as easy as moving fruit to a colorful bowl and moving chocolate milk behind the plain milk.

And packing a healthier brown bag helps, too.

Barbara Reyelts has more in this Connect with kids report.

At the school cafeteria what kids eat isn't always what their parents packed.

Some of the healthiest foods get trashed or traded.

"Yes, a lot of the time mainly vegetables and fruits and stuff."

Choices in the school lunch line or what a parent packs often gets a mixed review.

"It stinks it's good."

Many parents, tired of battling over what goes in the lunch bag go for pre-packed foods.

Those itty-bitty nachos and cute little hot dogs, but is nutrition sacrificed for fun?

"This is quick and easy for them to eat during lunchtime and it looks better than what I serve, it looks more fun you know, the sandwich and the bag of chips."

"And often they're lacking in nutritional value, they're not well balanced meals, and tend to be high in sugar, high in fat, high in sodium."

Researchers from Cornell University found that helping kids make healthier choices in the lunch line may be as simple as placing fresh fruit in colorful bowls.

And when cafeteria workers asked each child, 'do you want a salad,' salad sales increased by a third.

"Kids really do want to be independent, they see their older brothers and sisters being more independent and they want to be in charge, and so letting them be involved in that process in little ways can really get them bought into choosing some of these healthy foods."