creating a healthy lunch box
every parent probably relates to the chore of having to pack their kids lunch box (er'y single day). it can be a real chore to make it nutritionally balanced to fuel them throughout the day, and tasty enough so that it doesn't come home soggy and not eaten. but with a little planning, it can be much easier.
here's some inspiration for you to help pack that healthy and tasty lunch box:
involve the kids!
kids love to be involved and we know the more kids are involved with preparing their meals, the more they'll be inclined to eat them. not only that, you are providing education around nutrition and setting them up to eventually make better choices for themselves (when you get them to start packing their own lunchbox – wink wink).
being lunchbox prepared saves time and frustration and helps you stay on track to provide a balanced lunch for your kid’s active minds and bodies. carve out an 'hour of power' on a sunday afternoon to plan through what you'll need for each lunch box, and even do a big cook up to help with busy mornings. can you make something that will last a whole week or be frozen? forward planning is your time-saving super power!
keep it simple
don’t over think it, keep it simple. whole fresh food is the best kind of food for kids. aim to keep processed and packaged food to a minimum. a balanced lunchbox will include a mix of fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy and wholegrains.
pack your lunchbox the night before
pack what you can the night before. this will keep your mornings free for managing the rest of the fun that comes with getting the kids off to school on time.
don’t forget dinner leftovers
why not make a bit extra at dinner time or if you have some unexpected leftovers, these are a great lunch option!
choose the best drink for health and hydration
there is no need for sweetened drinks such as juice, cordial or soft drink. water makes the best drink both for their hydration and general wellbeing. freeze their water bottle in summer so it will still be cool by lunchtime and doubles as a lunchbox cooler.
remember the value of breakfast
breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day and for good reason. skipping breakfast may affect your kid’s concentration, mood and behaviour and leave them feeling ‘fuzzy’ for the big day ahead. having a great breakfast can also help lessen the pressure on your lunchbox when you have given them a great nutritious and filling start to the day.
foods to put in a lunch box
- fresh fruit
- crunchy vegetables
- a meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg
- dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt
- wholegrain foods such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, crackers
- try these chewy choc cookies for a great recess snack