Every week should be healthy lunchbox week, but next week as the kids go back to school the spotlight is really on how to create a healthy lunchbox.
A varied lunch gives children the best chance to concentrate better and have energy to learn, play and grow.
For a healthy lunchbox PICK and MIX foods from each of the five food groups:
- Grains (wholegrain bread, pita bread, wrap, roll, dry biscuits, cooked pasta or rice). Choose grain, wholemeal or high fibre options to keep tummies full and provide lasting energy.
- Meat and alternatives (chicken, egg, tinned fish, lentils, tofu, legumes, hommus, falafel). Protein gives building material for growing bodies including muscles.
- Vegies (tomato, celery, corn, grated carrot, salad). A variety of Vegies add color and different vitamins and antioxidants for health.
- fruit (banana, bunch grapes, cup strawberries, sultanas, tub diced fruit). Lots of fibre for fullness and energy for Go.
- Dairy (cheese, milk, tub yoghurt, custard). Loads of calcium for growing bones and strong teeth.
Don’t forget the water bottle. Freeze overnight to keep foods cool in the lunchbox.
Get your child to choose a lunch box and containers and check they can open them.
Involving your child in packing their own lunch and snacks and water bottle may even make it more likely to eat it.
Try cutting fruit, vegies, sandwiches into small pieces so easier to eat.
Cold foods need to be kept cold ie dairy, meat. Add a lce brick or frozen drink to keep food cool until lunchtime.
Mix it up: pieces of apple, container of berries, slices of avocado, dried apricot, tinned fruit.
Try different textures: crisp snow peas, smooth dips, soft wraps, crunchy grain biscuits/bread/roll.
Go for color in the lunchbox.
Leftover dinners can be packed for lunch the next day.
If time allows homemade popcorn, muffins can be great snacks. Muffins can even top up fruit and vegies intake.
Cut sandwiches into different shapes: strips, squares, triangles. Try a cookie cutter.
Try variety of breads from sliced bread, rolls, pita pouches or wraps.
A mix of dairy options: cheese (cubed, sliced, spread) yoghurt (tub, pouch, drinking, dip), custard, milk, milkshake.
Remember a lunch is only healthy if it is consumed!
Parents: Your job is what food to pack
Children: Your job is to decide whether and how much to eat
Teacher: Your job is when and where a child eats (if eating time is in the classroom)
If you have any questions or concerns about your childs eating, please contact Bellarine Community Health to make a time to chat with an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
You can learn more about BCH’s Dietetics services here.
If you want to know more about Nutrition Australia’s ‘Healthy Lunchbox Week’ campaign, click here.Leave a reply