Tips for a Nutritious Lunch Box
Back to School – Tips for a Nutritious Lunch Box
What kids have in their lunchbox is very important, as they need premium petrol to fuel their day at school. Be creative and include a wide variety of foods in your child’s lunchbox.
The key to nutritious lunches is to involve your kids!
Involve kids in the process of shopping for, cooking, and preparing their lunchbox, and they may be more likely to eat and enjoy their food.
Do not be upset if your child’s lunchbox occasionally comes back with food leftover. The parents’ job is to ensure the food is readily available and the child’s job to regulate how much they eat. The amount your child eats will depend on their age, size, and activity levels. There’s no one-lunch-fits-all approach.
As a general guide, I recommend that a MINIMUM of one item is available from each food group in your child’s lunchbox. Plus always make sure a bottle of water is included.
- 1 medium piece of fruit (apple, banana, pear)
- 2 small pieces of fruit (plus, nectarines, kiwi fruit)
- ½ to 1 cup of berries or fruit salad
- Fruit cup in the juice
Vegetables or legumes
- Chopped carrots, cucumbers, celery, capsicum
- Corn on the cob
- Snow peas or green beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Roasted chickpeas or fava beans (try The Happy Snack Company)
Dairy or alternatives
- Pouch or tub of yoghurt (tip–freeze the night before to keep cool during the day)
- Tasty cheese slices
- Milk or soy milk tetra pack
- Tzatziki dip
Lean meats or protein
- Tinned fish
- Lean grilled or roasted meats
- Falafel balls
- Lean deli meats
- Boiled eggs
- Baked beans
- Tofu cubes
Grain or Cereals
- Grainy wrap, roll, sandwich
- Rice cakes
Examples of a nutritious lunch box!
- Grain wrap with chicken & tasty cheese & salad. Yoghurt pouch. 1 cup of fruit salad.
- Hummus, falafels. Variety of vegetable sticks. Piece of fruit. Yoghurt.
- Egg sandwich. Fruit cup in juice. Cheese with Vitaweats. Cherry tomatoes.
Picking packaged foods suitable for your child’s lunch box
The reality is that we’re going to have packaged foods in our child’s lunch box for convenience and general taste preferences. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are nutritious options for our child!
When looking at a product, I recommend looking at a few nutrients on the nutrition information panel
The key is to always look in the per 100g column as products can be sneaky in their tiny serving sizes
A general guideline is:
- Saturated fat less than 3g
- Sugars less than 15g
- Fibre more than 5g
- Sodium less than 400mg
This product below is the Happy Snack Company roasted chickpeas