Packing the lunchbox
A balanced packed lunch should contain:
Starchy foods. These are bread,
rice, potatoes and pasta, and
Protein foods. These are meat, fish,
eggs, beans and others.
A dairy item. This could be cheese
Vegetables or salad, and a portion
Starchy foods are a good source of
energy, and should make up a third of
the lunchbox. But donít let things get
boring. Instead of sandwiches give kids
bagels, pitta bread, wraps and
baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or
seeded bread, not white bread.
Children often like food they can eat
with their fingers, so chop up raw
veggies such as carrots or peppers, and
give them hummus or cottage cheese to
dip the veggies in. Breadsticks and
wholemeal crackers are great finger
foods and they can be spread with
low-fat soft cheese or eaten with
reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.
Replace chocolate bars and cakes with
fresh fruit, dried fruit.
Vary the fruit each day and get them to
try new things, like kiwi or melon.
Unsalted nuts are a great snack food for
children to have at home, but it's best
to leave them out of your child's packed
lunch. Many schools ban nuts to protect
pupils with a nut allergy.
You could also make up a tasty fruit
salad. Be inventive and encourage your
children when they try something new.
Making healthier food
It may take a while for your children to
get used to a healthier lunchbox. But it
will be worth it for their health, so
You can help by eating a wider range of
foods at home, as a family. .
Reading supermarket food labels can help
you to buy healthier foods for your
child's lunch, and for family meal
Save chocolate and cakes for occasional
treats. Remember to praise your child
when they've tried something new, to
show your encouragement.
You can find lots
of ideas for healthy lunches at
healthy lunchbox ideas.