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Healthy kids need…a healthy school lunchbox

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How to pack a good school lunch that your child will actually eat. 

Packing a nutritious lunch that your child will eat can be a challenge. So what should we be sending to school that they will want to eat?

School days are busy for kids of all ages – so it is important to pack a healthy lunch to give them energy to play and to help them concentrate as they learn.

The Dietitians Association of Australia recommends including a wide variety of foods from all of the food groups in your child’s lunchbox, including vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meats and poultry and milk, yoghurt, cheese or their alternatives (and don’t forget a bottle of water).  Consider the following lunchbox ideas:
  • Sandwiches filled with salad, vegetables, cheese or cream cheese, egg, lean cold roasted meat, or canned tuna.
  • Make a mini crispy salad of lettuce, tomato, celery, capsicum, carrot, cucumber and cheese and pack with a bread roll, lavash bread or crackers.
  • Cut up carrot, cucumber and celery sticks and pack with snow peas, pita bread, cherry tomatoes and dips such as hummus.
  • Cut chunks of fresh melon and pineapple, strawberries, grapes, kiwifruit, dried fruit or individual tubs of fruits.
(Source: Dietitians Association of Australia ‘Easy Family Eating for Healthy Kids’).

Packaged foods often get a bad rap for their nutritional value (and they can be expensive), so when time permits, why not find a recipe so you can make a home-made version of your child’s favourite lunchbox treat to swap with your BakeSw@p Circle?

How much to pack for lunch will depend on various factors including your child’s age and activity levels. Therefore, it is a good idea to provide a choice of foods from all of the food groups for children of all ages. The National Health and Medical Research Council’s website, features a guide of the recommended number of serves from each food group for children so you can consider, based on their daily nutrition needs, how best to spread your child’s recommended servings throughout the day. If you are concerned about how much lunch your child is eating, seek advice from your health practitioner or a dietitian.

What are some of your greatest lunchbox challenges? We would also love to hear about your great lunchbox food ideas!

Sw@pTip: Did you know a 250ml glass of orange juice contains 3.5 teaspoons of total sugar? (Source: Swap the juice for a bottle of water in your child’s lunch box and you will cut out 17.5 teaspoons of sugar per week (based on a 5 day school week) or a staggering 175 teaspoons of sugar per 10 week school term!

All advice is general in nature and the BakeSw@p team recommends you seek professional advice from your doctor or health practitioner regarding any concerns relating to your child

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