Your Guide to Healthy and Delicious School Lunches
The alarm clocks are ringing, and the back-to-school rush is upon us. It’s that time of year when school bags and lunchboxes emerge from hibernation, and parents everywhere ponder the age-old question: What should we pack in our child’s school lunch box?
Fear not! We’ve put together a simple yet delightful guide to help you create a healthy school lunch box that your kids will look forward to all year long, packed with creative ideas.
Invest in a Lunchbox That Works for You
First things first, investing in a quality lunchbox is always a smart move. Right now, supermarkets are brimming with fantastic deals on back-to-school essentials. Consider getting a lunchbox with various compartments, perfect for separating different food items. If you have younger children, practice opening and closing their lunchbox together before the big day. And don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle to keep them hydrated throughout the day.
Building a Nutrient-Packed Healthy Lunchbox
When it comes to packing your child’s lunchbox, think of the children’s food pyramid as your trusty guide. Ensure a well-rounded meal by incorporating plenty of:
1. Colours of the Rainbow
Add an array of colourful fruits and vegetables. This not only adds a burst of flavour but also provides a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, bolstering your little one’s immune system. Consider including easy-to-grab snacks like peeled mandarin segments or cucumber and pepper sticks.
2. Wholegrains Rule
Opt for wholegrain or wholemeal versions of carbohydrates like brown bread, wraps, pita bread, and pasta. Even a handful of high-fibre breakfast cereal is a fantastic alternative to bread in a lunchbox. These choices add extra nutrients and fibre to your child’s diet without any fuss. Plus, here’s a top tip: freeze different types of bread and defrost them overnight for an ever-varying sandwich selection that keeps lunch exciting.
3. Calcium for Strong Bones
Ensure at least one portion of dairy or a fortified dairy alternative to support bone and dental health.
4. Creative & Easy Lunch Combos
Natural yoghurt, flavoured with fruits like berries, can be a fantastic way to blend dairy with fruit in your child’s lunchbox.
5. High Protein School Lunch Ideas
Lean slices of meats like chicken, turkey, or beef are excellent sandwich fillers and are naturally lower in salt compared to processed deli meats. When it comes to cheese, opt for lower-salt varieties like mozzarella, spreadable cream cheese, or cheddar slices. These are great options for snacks or sandwiches.
6. Mindful School Lunch Box Snacks
Choose nutrient-dense foods for your child’s lunchbox to steer clear of excess salt, sugar, and fat in their diet.
7. Vegetarian School Lunch Ideas
Don’t forget about vegetarian options like hummus and vegetable wraps or nut butter and banana sandwiches for those who prefer plant-based school lunch ideas.
Preparation is Key – Make It Easy on Yourself
Some folks prefer to prepare lunchboxes the night before, ready to grab and go in the morning, while others are early birds and whip up lunches right before school. If you have older children, involve them in the process. It’s not only a time-saver but also an opportunity to instil healthy dietary habits that can last a lifetime.
Our Experts Dietitians Are Here To Help You with Your Child’s Nutrition
If you’re seeking personalised guidance to meet your children’s ever-evolving nutritional needs, don’t hesitate to contact our registered dietitians. They’re here to help you and your family smoothly transition back into the school routine and provide advice on optimum nutrition for your child.
With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to create a lunchbox that’s not only nutritious but also a tasty treat for your child to look forward to each day. Happy packing!