NUTRITIOUS LUNCHBOX IDEAS

As a parent it can be difficult to keep coming up with interesting and nutritious school lunches for your kids. Here are some healthy suggestions to try.

Day One:

Celery sticks with small tub of low-fat cottage cheese
Small box of sultanas (sulphur free)
Healthy wholemeal blueberry muffin
Banana
Wholemeal sandwich with chicken, avocado and lettuce with healthy mayo (natural yoghurt mixed with some wholegrain mustard)
Bottle of water

Day two:

Carrot sticks with small tub of hummus
Slice of healthy banana bread
Small tub of fruit yoghurt (Jalna)
Apple
Wholemeal wrap with tuna, grated carrot and lettuce
Bottle of water

Day three:

Air popped popcorn (no salt)
Celery sticks
Container of grapes, blueberries and strawberry
Wholemeal and date scone
Pita pocket filled with grated cheese, carrot, cucumber and shredded lettuce
Bottle of water

Day four:

Wholemeal crackers with low-fat cheese cubes
Carrot sticks with small tub of hummus
Kiwi fruit with spoon and nectarine
Wholemeal roll with boiled egg with healthy mayo and lettuce
Bottle of water

Day Five:

Trail mix: pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried apricots and apple, few carob buds
Tub of fruit yoghurt
Healthy wholemeal apple and carrot muffin
Orange/mandarin and banana
Wholemeal wrap with leftover roast lamb, avocado, lettuce, mango chutney

 

Top Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

  1. Avoid packing processed snack foods that contain high amounts of sugar, salt and fat such as chips, sweet biscuits, chocolates, commercially made muffins, and sugary breakfast bars. Leave these foods for an occasional treat at home, they shouldn’t make a regular addition to your kid’s lunch boxes. These types of foods if eaten too often will increase the risk of your kids putting on weight and developing type-2 diabetes and heart problems later on in life.
  2. Buy fresh, natural foods and make your own snacks. This will also be more cost effective. Some healthy snack ideas include wholegrain crackers, rice cakes or vegie sticks with hummus or cubes of low-fat cheese, small tubs of yoghurt, dried fruit with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, air popped popcorn, homemade fruit muffins, banana bread, carrot cake, oat cookies or muesli slices.
  3. Always pack a piece of fresh fruit for your child. Fruit is rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants needed for strong immune systems. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat fruit try cutting it up or packing a container of grapes, berries or cherries. Mix diced fruit through a small tub of yoghurt. If you are cutting apples squeeze a little lemon juice over it so it won’t go brown. Kiwi fruit with a spoon is always fun for kids.
  4. Make sandwiches with wholegrain bread, which is high in fibre to look after your kid’s bowel health to keep them ‘regular’, and will also give your kids that feeling of fullness after their meal. Wholegrains are make up of slow releasing carbohydrates that will provide your kids with sustained energy to fuel their bodies and brains throughout the day, helping them concentrate at school.
  5. Pack some type of protein with your child’s lunch. Protein is needed for kid’s healthy growth and development. Protein also helps stabalise blood sugar levels, so your kids won’t have a drop in blood sugars and energy, and then end up craving and eating sugary junk foods. Some good protein-rich sandwich fillings include include low-fat cheese, hummus, tinned tuna or salmon, lean meat slices, chicken, turkey or boiled egg. Also include some protein-rich snacks like a trail mix of seeds, yoghurt, and hummus or cheese with crackers. TIP: buy a lunchbox with an ice brick to keep yoghurts and lunches cool.
  6. Include some salad vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks packed with a small tub of hummus or cottage cheese, or add some grated carrot, cucumber, capsicum or lettuce or baby spinach to sandwiches. Leftover roast vegies also make great sandwich fillers. You could also pack a salad in a separate container with salad vegies, green leaves and some protein from the list above. Don’t forget to pack a fork.
  7. Avoid popper juices as too much fruit juice (and added sugars) can cause tooth erosion. If you give your kids fruit juice make sure you dilute it and buy one without added sugars.
  8. Always pack a bottle of water with your child’s lunch. It is important that your kids drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay well hydrated, especially if they are running around outside at lunch in the hot weather.
  9. A small serving of dried fruit or a small, all-natural, fruit bar can make a nutritious addition to your child’s lunch box as long as it doesn’t replace fresh fruit.
  10. Left over frittata, pasta, rissoles, fish cakes, or roast chicken or lamb make great lunch box and sandwich fillers.