Healthy School Lunch Boxes

Healthy School Lunch Boxes

With the rates of obesity, type-2 diabetes, high-blood pressure and high cholesterol rising rapidly in children, packing a healthy lunch box has never been more important.

Sue RaddMar 20, 2023, 12:37 AM

So get your kids involved, but begin the night before. This way you engage their interest, introduce them to new foods and save yourself time.

Do's

Bread— encourage wholemeal, wholegrain and rye varieties as these contain fibre and the benefits of wholegrains.

Spreads— use poly- or monounsaturated margarine, or better still, try hommus, fresh avocado or eggplant spread. Use Marmite/Vegemite sparingly, as these are high in salt.

Protein foods— introduce various legume choices, such as baked beans, lentil burgers, falafel balls or Sanitarium Vegie Delights Deli Slices. Alternate with boiled egg, fat-reduced cheese and peanut butter (school policy permitting) or, if desired and personally acceptable, canned salmon/tuna or lean chicken/meat. Avoid processed meats, such as ham and corned beef, as these foods are strongly linked with bowel cancer.

Vegetables and salads — include at least three colours. Use in sandwiches or cut crunchy vegies into sticks.

Fruit— always pack a fresh seasonal choice. Add variety by including frozen pieces, canned and dried fruit. Low-fat fruit yoghurt can also be included but should not replace fresh fruit.

Drink— water is the best everyday choice. For more nutrition include lowfat milk or soy milk. Limit fruit juice, as this is high in kilojoules.

Dont's

Avoid or limit to twice per term, highfat, sugary foods offering little nutrition (soft drinks, cakes, sweet biscuits, lollies, pastries, snack foods) and deep-fried foods, such as hot chips. Research suggests children and young people consume approximately 30 per cent of their daily energy intake from such foods! This is excessive, as these foods are not needed by the body.

High-fibre, low-fat muesli bars or fruit muffins/slices can be included on an occasional basis.

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