Its back to school for the kids and your stuck for healthy lunch box ideas! No need to stress as Naed Nutrition have put together a few tips to help you spruce up your kids lunch boxes, and provide them with the nutrition they need to keep up their concentration and energy levels for day.
- Think healthy snacks for morning and afternoon tea. Provide your kids with a snack they can eat quickly, as they will often leave food if it takes too long to eat and takes up their play time. Quick and healthy snacks include; cut up vegetable sticks filled with dip (celery, carrot, cucumber, capsicum, snow peas), baby quiches, wholemeal picklets, wholemeal fruit muffin, rice cakes and avocado, cold chicken breast pieces, cold chicken drumsticks, cheese cubes, boiled egg, natural yoghurt, cheese and fruit skewers and cut up fruit pieces.
- Ensure your kids lunch is comprised of protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Children require additional needs compared to adults for growth and development therefore they require a nutrient packed lunch that will keep them energised for the afternoon. Some sandwich options include lean turkey breast and salad, tuna and salad, roasted vegetables and salad. When making sandwiches always use a multigrain or wholemeal bread, try using hummus or avocado as a replacement for butter or margerine, and fill with salad to ensure your children are getting enough greens. Other lunch ideas include frittatas, cold wholemeal pesto, wholemeal pitta pockets, wholemeal roasted vegetable pizzas and multigrain wraps.
- Get your children involved in making their lunches. Aim to get the kids involved in packing or creating their lunch; they are more likely to eat something they have made themselves. Plan to make some mini quiches, fritters or boil some eggs together on the weekend.
- Get creative! Children are attracted to colourful shapes and characters. Cut their sandwiches into fun shapes, include colourful fruits like berries and cherry tomatoes. Place foods onto skewers to create a fun lunch experience.
- Variety is key to keep your children interested. Having the same lunch everyday is boring for adults let alone children, therefore swap us fruits and vegetables, wraps and sandwiches, shapes and colours to keep children interested. Variation is also important for nutrition to provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, and ensure your children have access to all the nutrients they require for growth and development.
- Always pack a colourful water bottle! Avoid juice boxes, fruit juices, cordials or flavoured drinks as many can cause a sugar rush and hyperactivity in children. High sugar juices and meals can also cause tooth decay in children, therefore by avoiding sugary drinks and encouraging children to drink water with their meals, children can avoid an increased susceptibility to tooth cavities. Flavour water with fruits such as berries or apple pieces, lemon or lime wedges and encourage children to drink water throughout the day to aid digestion, hydration and energy production.