It’s almost time for the children to return to school, which means a trip to the supermarket in search of some fun, imaginative ideas for lunch boxes.
Try getting your child involved in the process by discussing the health benefits with them, and how a homemade lunch is fresher and tastes better than school dinners.
Set out your food into groups such as healthy carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruit and let them choose what they would like from each group. From their chosen foods you can then add them into their lunch.
Here are some tasty options you can try out:
Sandwiches and wraps
If you are making sandwiches for your children, make sure you use wholemeal bread instead of white bread. Whole-wheat bread is good for you for a number of reasons. It’s high in complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, a source of protein, and has lots of nutrients and fibre.
Why not spice things up a bit by making a healthy wrap which is a great alternative to bread. You can also add healthy fillers such as cooked meats like chicken and turkey breast with tomato and lettuce or add some sausages with salad or make a cold BLT.
This option is also great for vegetarians as you can add cheese, salad, and cottage cheese with pineapple or vegetarian pate with salad, egg mayo or coleslaw.
A healthy lunch wouldn’t be complete without adding some of the recommended five-a-day fruit portions. The Healthy Eating website claims that only 39% of UK school kids eat fruit regularly, and an astonishing 20% have never eaten fruit.
On that trip to the supermarket for your weekly or daily shop, buy some small apples and some kiwis as they are more robust, along with a few grapes. Bananas are also an ideal choice to give your child a much needed energy boost, particularly if they play lots of sports. However, you might want to invest in a plastic banana guard as they can go soft and can break easy.
Dried fruits, raisins and apricots are great for snacks for kids during break times as these provide great alternatives to cakes, chocolates and crisps and also count towards their five a day.
Invest in some small, sealable pots, and purchase some melon or watermelon, mixed blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, dried apricots and some diced peach. Cut the fruit into small pieces and place it into the pots.
Gone are the days when schools filled their vending machines with sugary brands such as Coke, Fanta and 7UP. Children are now encouraged to drink healthier alternatives such as water, milk, milkshakes, natural fruit juices or sugar free diluted squash.
By trying out some of these healthy lunch ideas your child can now enjoy happy, healthy low in sugar lunches to kick-start the new school year.