It’s back to school this week & coming up with new healthy lunchbox ideas can be a tricky task. A nutritious lunchbox is really important as it provides children with ‘the fuel’ they need to get through the school day & keep them alert & focused.
Top tips to creating a healthy lunchbox:
- Encourage your child to be involved in preparing their own lunch & discuss different choices with them. They may be more likely to eat what’s in their lunchbox if they were involved in preparing it.
- Include a variety of foods
- Fruit: Pack at least one serving each day. Use fresh seasonal fruit whenever possible.
- Vegetables: Remember to include every day. This can be done by adding salad or grilled veggies in sandwiches or simply pack in some raw vegetables sticks with a healthy dip.
- Protein: a food high in protein should be included each day. Examples include:
- lean meat or chicken – good in a sandwich
- fish – small serving of tuna or salmon in spring water
- eggs – hard boiled eggs or curried/mashed egg in a sandwich
- baked beans – always a favourite (choose low salt)
- nuts or seeds – an easy snack to pack. However, if your school has a nut-free policy, remember that peanut butter & other nuts shouldn’t be included in your child’s lunchbox!!
- Dairy: Children need dairy foods like yoghurt, cheese & milk for optimal growth & development. It’s important to pack some options every day. If your child can’t tolerate dairy products use a suitable alternative, e.g. soy yoghurt.
- Grains: have a variety to choose from each day, such as bread, rice, pasta or potato. Wholegrain & high fibre varieties are best.
- Bottle of water: Water is the best drink to keep your child hydrated. Pack a water bottle (for refilling throughout the day) & freeze it overnight to keep foods in their lunch box nice & cool.