Here are some healthy lunchbox tips, taken from the Heart Foundation website (http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/programmes-resources/schools-and-eces/healthy-heart-award) to encourage your child to eat and learn about healthy food choices.
Loading up the lunchbox
- Involve your children in lunchbox options and preparation
- Be a role model – prepare your own healthy lunch at the same time
- Think outside the (lunch) box – vary the shape of sandwiches by cutting them into triangles or use a biscuit cutter for different shapes
- Avoid soggy sandwiches – keep bread and fillings separate and let your child create their sandwich at lunchtime
- Experiment with different breads e.g. wraps, muffin splits, rewana, pita, fruit bread. Use wholemeal or wholegrain varieties
- Cut large fruit and vegetables into smaller pieces, include healthy dips for dunking (hummus, salsa, tzatziki)
- Keep it interesting – leftovers are a great option or try sushi, noodles, corn thins or tuna pasta salad as alternatives to sandwiches
- Prepare lunchbox items in bulk and store in the freezer until required e.g. fruit muffins, mouse traps (cheese and vegemite/marmite toasted fingers)
- Muesli bars are not the best everyday choice as they are often high in sugar and fat. Remember to check nutrition information on labels or look for the Heart Foundation Tick
- Experiment with your home baking. Reduce the amount of sugar and fat used by substituting with fruit, fruit juice or natural unsweetened yoghurt
- Water and plain milk are the best drinks for children
- Freezing a drink bottle overnight and placing it in your child’s lunchbox will help to keep the food cold and safe.