School is back for the year and for those of us with kids it means a return to the sometimes grueling task of packing lunches each day, as well as the pressure of trying to keep the food interesting, liked by the kids as well as healthy. Here are 4 simple tips to help guide your lunch box packing:
Use wholegrain bread, wraps or crackers - wholegrains are less processed and contain more fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than highly processed grains eg white bread.Pack a dairy product eg cheese slices, cheese sticks, yoghurt or milk to drink (make sure there's an ice brick to keep it cold though).
Include a vegetable snack somehow - either load up the sandwich or wrap with as many vegies as your child will eat (think lettuce, baby spinach, tomato, cucumber, carrot, capsicum etc) or include vegie sticks with your child's fave dip (hummus or beetroot dip are popular at our house). Some kids will also eat leftover roast vegies - think pumpkin, capsicum, sweet potato. These can be included on sandwiches too.
Pack a piece of fruit - make it easy to eat and safe from bruising. Simple fruit like bananas, cut up oranges and apple slinkies (splashed with lemon or lime juice to stop them going brown) are popular with my kids. Individual fruit packs in natural juice are a good alternative, especially if you haven't had time to get to the shop for fruit and veg top ups towards the end of the week.
Include some dairy for calcium and protein - yoghurt or cheese slices or sticks are easy and usually popular. Make sure you pack an ice brick to keep it all cold.
Image from Healthykids.nsw.gov.au