Lunch box ideas for kids
Be a lunch box legend and pack yourself - and your kids - some healthy treats!
Healthy school lunches are what everyone's talking about. What we do know: healthy eating habits start young. So when you're focusing on making wise food choices, keep these in mind when you prepare the packed lunches in your house.
Pack it healthy
While you're making sandwiches for the kids or just yourself, think about making it a low-kilojoule feast to prevent snacking on chips or biscuits. Think grainy breads, low-fat cheese, plenty of fruit and a 'fun size' chocolate bar for a sweet treat.
But while you're watching what goes into your lunch, remember that your kids are growing and need their nutrients, and low-kilojoule options may not be best for their health.
Balance is the key
Variety - and the inclusion of a few healthier food options - is key to a balanced diet that your kids can enjoy, so try not to offer the same foods on consecutive days. This means getting them to sample new foods.
Good tips are to try and include naturally brighter coloured foods with milder flavours and interesting textures, and to serve new foods with those which your child will be familiar with.
Reward schemes, for example, using stickers and other prizes, and tasting sessions are also very effective in getting kids to develop new food tastes.
Above all, the best role model your kids could have is you - so make a show of how much you enjoy the foods you are giving them.
Another hint is to make sure that food eaten at lunch differs from what you're going to be serving for dinner. This way they won't get bored, and will benefit from a wider variety of nutrients found in the different food groups.
Good, balanced lunchtime combinations could include:
- A ham sandwich, cheese triangle, small packet of nuts and sultanas, a couple of biscuits.
- Two mini-wholegrain rolls, a banana, a mini-blueberry muffin and a juice.
- A vegemite and cheese pita pocket, yoghurt, apple and a cereal bar.
Note the presence of all the food groups - and know that your child will be receiving all the necessary nutrients.
Avoid the likes of canteen sweets, soft drinks and salty snacks such as chips. Instead, send them off with homemade cakes, smoothies and dried fruit.
Find more Healthy Eating articles:
- How to cook with your kids and have fun
- Cook the family friendly way
- The facts about good and bad oils
- Get the most out of your exercise
- Diet friendly frozen desserts
- Bottled water vs tap water
- Food shopping for weight loss
- Manage family snack attacks
- Easy meal ideas when you don't want to cook
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 4 budge foods worth cooking from scratch
- Healthy smoothie ideas
- Add flavour (not fat) to your meals
This article was originally written for Kidspot.com.au in conjunction with Weight Watchers as part of their Positively Life Changing initiative.