PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– While going back to school can be joyous for students and teachers, it can be a stressful time for parents, especially when it comes to packing lunch.

A healthy diet is essential for a child’s growth and development, but for some parents the task of feeding your child a healthy lunch is easier said than done. If you’re dealing with a picky eater, News 13 This Morning spoke with Chef Denise Crider, a culinary instructor at Gulf Coast State College to provide you with tips and tricks.

Crider recommended establishing a routine with their kids, and involve them in the lunch making process to get the excited about eating. She said it is important to use color and texture along with a nice packaging presentation to entice those picky eaters.

“People in general, especially kids, eat with their eyes first so presentation is everything,” she said.

Crider also touched upon making your meals budget friendly. Leftover meals from dinner the night before can be repurposed for lunch. In addition, an item like taco meat can be used for to make not only tacos, but also it can be paired in a salad or with rice.

“Also if meat is costly, you can get protein and fiber in other ways, by preparing egg bites or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using almond butter,” she said.

Crider also said that meals should be well-balanced and composed of a healthy portion of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

“Your dessert or something sweet also doesn’t have to be a cookie or cakes, it could be fruits like grapes or strawberries.

The culinary program at Gulf Coast State College is ranked among the top three culinary programs within the state, for more information on the program, click here.