Returning to School - Healthy tips for School lunches

Posted by admin on August 28, 2014

Soon the school holidays will be over and your children will be going back to school. Do they have school dinners or do you pack them lunches?

Packing a school lunch for your child day after day can be a daunting task, choosing the right foods for your child can make all the difference to his health, immunity, concentration and even his mood.  Food plays an important role in balancing mood and concentration, so including specific foods into his diet may lead to improved learning.

Packing a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive.

Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Always use a clean lunchbox and pop a cooler block in
  • Vary the lunchbox each day as repetition can become boring
  • Children love fresh fruit cut and ready to eat, always include some fresh fruit and vegetables, very the selection to keep your child interested
  • Make sandwiches or salads interesting
  • Always include a bottle of water
  • Ask your child to help you choose healthy options, discuss the benefits with them – how a homemade lunch is fresher and tastes good can convince children that a packed lunch is a good idea.
  • Discuss the food groups – healthy carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and then let them choose what they would like from each group.
  • A great way of giving your child a homemade cooked meal for lunch is to have some leftovers from dinner – make extra when cooking meals for evening dinner so that you can freeze the rest and then your child can have this for lunch at school.
  • If your child eats white bread encourage them to try healthier options – whole grain rolls, pita bread or flat bread.

Having some easy and quick choices you can put together when you are busy:

  • Apples, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, grapes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, cheese cubes, boiled eggs, yoghurt, pasta, rice. Dried fruit, nuts & seeds.
  • Homemade mini-muffin or biscuit

Plenty of healthy fats and protein will prevent a blood sugar spike, this will help to stablise moods and avoid dips in energy levels; these include foods such as:

  • Eggs, chicken, turkey, meat, fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, yoghurts, cheese, peanut butter and pulses.

Avoid processed or convenience foods – crisps, cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars, fizzy and sugary drinks as these will have an affect on blood sugar.

So remember build your lunches around whole foods and with a little bit of practice you will find that you and your child will be become creative and experts in packing a nutritious lunch.

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