04/14/2008 11:35 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Thinking Outside the LunchBox

A few months ago, I was interviewed by for an article on packing healthy lunches, when your kids' school prohibits nuts, and your kid is a picky eater.

I will include the link here and write a post about it next, but here this is one of the biggest concerns I hear from parents about their kids and eating lunches: "They don't eat their lunch and then they snack like crazy till dinner.

Of course what comes next? They don't want to eat the healthy dinner you prepared for them.

The mantra I repeat over and over is: CAPITALIZE ON YOUR KIDS' TRUE HUNGER. The reality is that they often eat very little breakfast, they are too distracted and excited to eat their lunch and by pickup time they are STARVING.

So don't give them snack food. Capitalize on their biological hunger and feed them 'dinner like' food. Greet them with a turkey sandwich. Chicken, rice and beans. Get those veggies and protein in them that they fight you with at dinner. Get them a hamburger. Veggie burger, and throw the carrot sticks in.

Try this, and they will cut down on the lousy snacks that won't fill them up. If they aren't that hungry at dinner, just sit together. At least you won't worry that they haven't eaten well. As I said, 'think outside the lunchbox'.