Food expert says kids should pick their lunches

Struggling with food ideas for school lunches? Food expert Nettie Cronish thinks it's best to have your kids decide what goes into their lunch bags.

Food expert Nettie Cronish says kids are more likely to enjoy lunches they help prepare

Cronish says that a tabouli and quinoa salad is easy to toss together on a busy weekday evening. (Mike McColl)

Have a picky eater at home? Healthy food expert Nettie Cronish might have a solution for you.

According to Cronish, a natural and organic chef and culinary instructor, it's all in giving them choices. 

"You have to get your kids involved in the planning phase of what it is they are going to eat," she said. 

"And you also have to take them food shopping."

Cronish said that when her kids were young, she would point out produce that had gone bad in grocery stores, as a way of teaching them how to shop. 

"I taught them to be very good consumers," she said. "And as they got older, they learned to pick produce."

When it comes to preparing a meal, Cornish thinks kids should be more involved. 

"I think kids will eat what food choices they pick themselves," she said. 

With her kids, she often makes sushi or burrito lunch options and lets them choose the toppings. 

But how do you deal with the business of a new school year? Cronish said the solution is in meal prepping.

"On Sunday night, I'm a general. I plan the dinners for the whole week," said Cronish. 

"I'm a big believer in prep. I have my onions cut up and I have my carrots grated." 

Cronish said it's often the prep work that takes the most amount of time, so preparing simple things like vegetables and seasonings cuts down time spent in the kitchen on busy weekdays.