Packing Back to School Snacks for Your Picky Eater

Packing Back to School Snacks for Your Picky Eater

Publish Date May 9, 2023 4 Minute Read
Author GoGo squeeZ

Back to School Snacking: 6 Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters

If you have a picky eater at home, back to school snack planning can be a challenge. So how can you make sure that your child eats and enjoys what’s in their lunchbox? Here are some tips to make sure your child’s snacks are nutritious and delicious, and that back to school prep is a breeze.

1. Start Small

When introducing new foods to a picky eater, starting small is key. Try encouraging your child to try one bite of a new food at a time, offering “safe foods” to supplement each new dish. Over time, your child may become more comfortable experimenting with taste and texture and be more willing to try again. When it comes to packing snack bags, adding familiar favorites can help keep your child’s eating balanced and nutritious while they explore new lunch items. Items like GoGo squeeZ pouches are a perfect snack to offer between trying new foods. Each pouch is made with 100% real fruit, and the combination of familiar flavors and comforting purée texture can help keep your child from feeling overwhelmed during snack or mealtimes.

2. Same Snack, New Setting

Think about the way you experience a dish in a candle-lit restaurant. Ambiance, plating, lighting and atmosphere may not directly impact the taste of the meal, but they likely play a key role in your experience, especially when trying something new. Similarly, certain textures, smells or even visual elements like lighting and packaging can have a significant impact on your child’s experience with food. Encouraging your child to try new foods in different settings can be a great way to keep your child open to revisiting foods. If a snack isn’t a hit right away in the school lunchroom, try packing it for a picnic or serving it with a family dinner. Practice mindful eating with your child by talking about the texture, taste and the environment around you.

3. Make it Fun

Who said you shouldn’t play with your food? Children do most of their learning through play, so keeping snack time engaging and fun can make all the difference when introducing new foods. Incorporating different shapes, colors and sensory experiences in your child’s snack bag is a great way to nurture your child’s relationship with food.

Try packing your child’s snack bag with a colorful variety of ingredients for a build-your-own parfait bowl. Pack nutrient-dense mix-ins like berries, granola, shredded coconut and chia seeds along with their favorite flavor of GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ. Squeezing the pouch into a bowl and sprinkling each ingredient turns snack time into an enjoyable sensory activity that encourages creativity and builds fine motor skills—all while encouraging healthy eating habits, too.

4. Let Them Be Your Helper

Sometimes, picky eating habits are your kiddo’s way of communicating their desire to make more of their own choices. Getting your child involved in the prepping process is a wonderful way to nurture their growing sense of autonomy, while making sure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Try giving your child a menu to choose from at the start of the week and help them prepare their selections the night before.

5. Offer Simple Substitutions

When it comes to planning new snacks for a picky eater, simplicity is key. While it may be tempting to offer a variety of new foods at once, offering simple variations of familiar favorites can encourage more adventurous eating without pushing your child too far out of their comfort zone. If your child loves grilled cheese, try substituting a different kind of cheese, or even offering quesadillas or cheese and crackers. Pointing out common ingredients can help your child take that first bite with confidence.

6. Find Unexpected Ways to Add Veggies

If your kiddo has a veggie aversion, it can be a challenge to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Adding vegetables into the mix in fun, unexpected ways can help you change the way your child thinks about produce. Try shredding carrots or zucchini into muffins or make a rich pudding using sweet potatoes, avocado, banana and cocoa powder. GoGo squeeZ Fruit and VeggieZ are another delicious way to sneak in a serving of vegetables. While it may be tempting to keep your secret ingredients quiet, be sure to talk with your kiddo about all the yummy veggies that went into their dish. Practicing this kind of transparency can be scary at first, but it’s a great way to build trust, spark curiosity and teach your child to value wholesome ingredients.

Snack prepping for your picky eater doesn't have to be a chore. With a little creativity, it can be a fun bonding experience that sets your child up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

Looking for more snack-bag inspiration? Visit our blog for tips and tricks, meal planning and healthy inspiration.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.