Are you worried about the quality of food on offer to your children at school? A lot of parents are opting to send their kids to school with a packed lunch so that they can monitor the quality of food. By making a healthy lunchbox for your child you can make sure they get the correct amount of nutrition every day…..
Kids really need to refuel at lunchtime and top up with nutrients to form energy for the upcoming afternoon activities. This is why making a healthy lunchbox that appeals to them is so important – you want them to be prepared for afternoon learning!
So lets have a look at a few tips that can aid you in making a healthy lunchbox:
- Ask the children what they want to eat over the coming week – let them plan it out with them but give them healthier options to choose from.
- Meat is always a goody when it comes to making sandwiches. My son is eight and always insists on ham with ketchup! Stick to leaner meats like ham, chicken slices or those supermarket beef slices. You DO NOT want to give them the option of salami or bacon!
- Egg seems to be another healthy enough favorite when it comes to making a healthy lunchbox but I always find an obvious flaw with it in the summer months. I personally don’t like giving my son a boiled egg or egg sandwiches when the weather is so hot – I’m unsure at how well it is going to keep!
- You must aim to include at least three of the food groups within your lunchbox. I know it can be tough to do so but you must convince kids to eat fruit and veg at lunchtimes. I seem to have good luck with using cold and peeled carrots with my son – he seems to like them ( and I do to! ).
- And what about good old peanut butter? At a guess I would say about 70% of children like peanut butter – not so many like Marmite! Why don’t you try a couple of peanut butter sandwiches and see? If they are not that keen on the peanut butter try them on almond butter – it’s not so heavy and very tasty!
- It’s always a good idea to include a pudding/treat of some sort when making a healthy lunchbox. This pudding should be the only packaged item in the lunchbox. A decent lunchbox setup should include a packaged pudding and perishable food like sandwiches/fruit/veggies. Always use one of those airtight lunchboxes and remember to include frozen gel packs for the food that needs to be kept cold!
- If your child likes a mayo taste in his/her sandwich then I’m afraid it’s near enough impossible to remove this. You simplest option is to switch to low fat mayo – they will never tell the difference ( and neither will you! ).
- Have you ever thought about blunt toothpicks when making a healthy lunchbox? This is a little trick I picked up off my mother years ago! Kids love finger food that fits onto toothpicks – just like at a party! You can really go to town here and think outside the box. Try making mini sandwiches with a toothpick in or small cheese and pickle onion bites – just about anything really!
- Remember that fluids are very important for children – up to 6 cups of fluid should be encouraged daily. They probably won’t want to go with the idea of water so why not try them off on some sugar free cordials ( ‘squash’ in some countries! ) or low sugar smoothie options? If you are unsure whether they will enjoy them or not try including some bright and fun looking straws – everything tastes better through one of these!
There are obvious safety issues that go along with making a healthy lunchbox so always make sure you wash the box, lid and all the reusable bottles before every use.
If you have any ideas on making a healthy lunchbox we would love to hear about them. Please take the time to write them in the comment section below and share them with our readers. All ideas are welcome