Eating a variety of healthy foods gives kids the energy they need to get through the busy school day. Healthy eating also helps children grow and prevents illnesses. To ensure children are receiving a balanced, healthy lunchtime meal, it is important that the parent includes a wide variety of nourishing foods.
Serve what they’ll eat
There is no point packing a nutritionally sound lunch box when most of the food boomerangs straight back home. Talk to your kids about their favourite ‘healthy’ foods and work out a few lunch box varieties based on their choices. You might be surprised at your children’s choices and, hopefully, by the number of things they are happy to see in their lunch box.
Use cookie cutters
Purchase cookie cutters so that you can create sandwiches in fun shapes for your child. Candy and pretzels can be used to decorate sandwiches. Our kids loves when we send him to school with sandwiches that have smiley faces on them.
Cut things into small pieces
For younger children, it is helpful to cut rolls or other large food items into smaller pieces that they can eat with their fingers.
Surprise your child with crazy lunch designs that will make them laugh.
Packed with vitamins and fibre, children should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, so it is best for parents to pack one or two at lunch time. Each recipe has a combination of unique, flavourful, and wholesome ingredients that are perfectly balanced.
Nuts and Seeds
To stay healthy children need some fat in their diets. Children age four and up should get 25 to 35 percent of their caloric intake from fat. Mono unsaturated fats are healthy and come from plant oils, such as peanut, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts, and seeds.
|Age||Recommended Daily Fat (grams)|
|4 through 8||33 to 78|
|9 through 13||39 to 101|
|14 through 18||50 to 125|
When packing a school lunch, parents should select whole grain foods as opposed to refined grains. Whole grains include brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Other good grain selections include cereals, oats, barley, millet, quinoa, and pasta.
Children should receive three servings of dairy a day. Cheeses, yogurt, and milk puddings are useful alternatives to traditional milk, and they are easy to include in a packed lunch.
Lunch Boxes and Water Bottles
In most cases, food remains in a lunch box for several hours before consumption, so it needs to stay cool. Buyers should select insulated lunch boxes or one with a freezer pack. When purchasing a lunch box it is also a good idea to purchase a reusable snack pack. These bags allow children to carry sandwiches, snacks, and other goodies to and from school, all while reducing the amount of waste.
Water is the best drink for children. Sweet drinks such as fruit juices, sports drinks, and soft drinks are high in sugar, which increases the risk of tooth decay and obesity. For lunch, parents should pack a plastic water bottle. To help keep food in the lunch box cool they can also freeze the water bottle the night before school and place it in an insulated lunch box in the morning. For a more eco-friendly approach, parents can invest in a reusable water bottle. They should select a product that is BPA free and made from nontoxic materials.