Now that the kids are getting back to school, their school lunch boxes need filling up!
If you’re looking to craft a healthy school lunch that your kids will eat, you’ve come to the right place.
Remember that healthy lunchbox ideas can become second nature after a while once you start the process.
So, to begin the process, here's 5 simple steps to help you create a healthy school lunch every day of the week!
Start with a source of protein
You always want to kick off a lunchbox with a good amount of protein.
Protein is full of the building blocks your child’s body needs to grow and develop.
But it also helps to keep them feeling fuller for longer.
That means they’re less likely to demand unhealthy treats when they get home in the afternoon!
Some easy sources of protein for a lunchbox include boiled eggs, legumes such as chickpeas and cheese.
Another good option is to cook up extra protein with dinner each night, then add it to the lunchbox for the next day.
You might pop in some chicken wings, slices of sausage or a lamp chop in there if you have extra.
Adding some veggies
Parents often wait until dinnertime to serve kids their veggies.
But children are more likely to eat vegetables if they are served to them earlier in the day.
At playtime and lunchtime, they are usually hungrier and less tired compared to the end of the day.
Have a play with different vegetables and ways of serving them if your child isn’t a big fan.
Many kids will opt to eat veggie sticks if offered them, especially if it comes with something to dip them in.
You can also sneak some veggies in via a soup, sauce or smoothie if you want and, of course if you can them to take them to school.
Opt for slow-burning carbohydrates
Kids need plenty of energy to play and learn and most of their energy will come from carbohydrates.
But when it comes to carbs, quality is key if you want to give them long-lasting energy.
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta give them a quick hit of energy, followed by a crash.
On the other hand, slow-burning whole food carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and buckwheat pasta feed a slower stream of energy into the body.
Some good slow-burning carbohydrate options for a healthy lunchbox include:
- A baked potato or sweet potato
- Brown rice
- Wholemeal, lentil or buckwheat pasta
- Beans and legumes
- Wholemeal and rye breads and wraps
- Fruit salad
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Don’t forget hydration!
Hydration is important for all of us.
For kids at school, it supports brain function and concentration and replaces losses from their play and sports time.
Water is always the best option for staying hydrated, but you can still mix it up if your child isn’t a fan of plain water!
For example, you could:
- Add some fruit slices, mint or cucumber to their water bottle
- Make up a fruity herbal tea – you can add ice blocks for a hot day, or pop it in a thermos for cold days
- Offer them sparkling water instead of still – the bubbly taste reminds them of soft drinks, but without the extra sugar
- Send it in a funky water bottle with a flip-straw – kids will often drink water out of stylish water bottles over a regular bottle!
Another option is whipping up a tasty smoothie for them using water as its base liquid.
This will keep them hydrated, taste yummy, and can even help you sneak in another serve of vegetables of course!
Finish with some healthy but tasty snacks
A healthy lunchbox is not complete without a snack for recess!
The good news is that you can pick healthy snacks for kids’ lunch boxes that kids love the taste of.
You might like to add in snacks such as these:
- Freeze-dried fruit pieces
- Air-popped popcorn
- Homemade bliss balls
- Fruit slices and nut/seed butter (depending on your school’s restrictions)
- Veggie sticks with guacamole or hummus dip
- Wholefoods bars
The Super Cubes Wholefoods bars are the perfect addition to any lunchbox and their quite filling too!
What will you add to school lunch?
In the end the hardest task will be discovering healthy lunch foods that kids like to eat.
Then packing a healthy school lunch should be easy!
You could try out lots of different healthy options over the weekend, get the kids involved with the lunch decisions.
Then it's just a matter of stocking up these foods when you're grocery shopping, then you can minimise your food waste.
Being repetitive isn't too bad when it comes to lunches and it makes it easy to plan your week too.
Healthy food options leads to a healthy lunch box, which in turn leads to healthy habits developing long term.
Now who doesn't want that!