Lunch boxes are an essential part of the back to school preparation. Some kids don’t really care as long as their lunch boxed is packed with good food, and others want a brand new lunch box to kick off a new year.
Because of long days and working parents a school lunch box can potentially make up 30 – 50% of your child’s daily food intake. This makes it very important for parents to pack healthy school lunches and not let their youngsters snack on junk food.
School is a time when children start to make independent choices about their lifestyles. This is an important time to talk about and encourage healthy food habits.
Involving children in planning and preparing their own lunchboxes gives them the opportunity to learn about healthy eating, and also gives them a chance to make decide what they will be eating during the day. (This saves the returned soggy sarmies),
Avoid these Elements of School Lunches
Balance your lunch. When people talk about balanced meals, they mean meals that include a mix of food groups: some grains, some fruits, some vegetables and some protein foods.
Don’t pack fruit juice, it has too much sugar. Rather opt for water and maybe some fresh fruit.
Read the labels of the snack like muesli bars – many of them are full of fats, refined starch and sugar. Look of ones high in oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Or, we suggest making your own.
Flavoured milk is no good for kids – the taste comes from colour and sugar. Also milk sitting in a lunch box all morning probably isn’t that great of an idea either, especially during the summer months. Stick to water for a school lunch box drink.
What to put in Healthy School Lunch Boxes
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh crunchy vegetables
- A meat or meat alternative food like some lean meat (e.g. chicken strips), hard-boiled egg or peanut butter. If your school has a nut-free policy, peanut butter and other nuts should not be included in your child’s lunchbox
- A grain or cereal food like bread, a roll, flat bread, fruit bread or crackers (wholegrain or wholemeal choices are best)
- Milk, yoghurt or cheese
Best Drink is Water
Juice, fizzy drinks and flavoured milk are no good for school lunches. If your child is a bit picky, buy them a fancy water bottle.
In hot weather send frozen milk, yoghurt or water, or even frozen orange segments. This makes a great refreshing snack and helps to keep the lunch box cool.
Plan School Lunches Together
Plan and shop for your school lunches with your kids to create a series of healthy snack ideas that will keep them full throughout the day, that cover all the basic food groups. Make it crunchy and colourful
Household Plastic is the go-to shop for a huge range of lunchboxes and water bottles. You will probably find many other back to school necessities there while you are shopping.