The Reliance GP Blog

Tips for creating healthy and interesting school lunches
Rod Beckwith January 15, 2016

Blog (15)

Healthy School Lunches

Eating a healthy school lunch is important for your child. It provides 30% of their daily calories, provides them with the nutrition necessary to focus, learn, play and grow, and helps them develop healthy habits that they will carry into adulthood.

Parents should discuss healthy choices with their children and encourage them to be involved in preparing their own lunches. However, it doesn’t matter how healthy your child’s lunch box is, it is not going to provide them with any nutrition if it doesn’t get eaten, so here are our top tips:

  1. Choose from a variety of food groups

Fruit & veggies: Fresh whole fruit (preferably with the skin on), canned and tinned fruit in natural juices, or chopped fresh berries, pineapple or melon. Raw vegies such as cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers, carrot sticks or celery are a great snack. Add salad to sandwiches, salads or wraps.

Starchy Food: Choose wholegrain wraps, bread & crackers (e.g. goodness super-foods barley wraps, mountain wraps, vitaweet rice wheels or lunch slices), seeded rolls, pita bread, brown rice, rice noodles, wholemeal pasta, sweet potato.

Lean Protein: Tuna or salmon (fresh or canned in spring water or olive oil), boiled eggs, legumes (e.g. baked beans, three bean mix), chicken breast, lean ham, turkey breast, roast meat, tofu, lean meatballs, patties or sausages (e.g. the peppercorn food company)

Dairy: Yoghurt (e.g. chobani or tamar valley), cheese (e.g. cheddar), milk

2.  Pack a bottle of water: To keep them hydrated throughout the day and freeze on hot days to keep food cool.  Limit or avoid juice, cordial and flavoured milks.

To learn more, read our blog on Ten Benefits of keeping Hydrated, and learn to detect warning signs of dehydration with our 8 Signs the Body is Dehydrated.

3.  Choose nutritious snacks: Treats like chocolate, cake, lollies and chips should be included occasionally, not every day. Choose;

  • Fresh or chopped fruit
  • Nuts & seeds or trail mix: shredded coconut, small amounts of dried fruit, pepitas, sunflower seeds
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Veggie chips
  • Wholegrain crackers with sliced cheese or dip such as hommus, sweet potato, guacamole or tzatziki
  • Small tubs of yoghurt
  • Veggies e.g. carrot & celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, baby cucumber
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Lean meat such as ham, chicken breast, roast meat
  • Veggie fritters or mini frittatas (see recipe section)
  • Bliss balls (see recipe section)
  • Healthy banana bread (see recipe section)
  • Muesli bars: homemade are best however carman’s original fruit-free, classic fruit and nut, super berry muesli, deluxe gluten free muesli bars or be natural trail bars are healthier options
  • Fruit bread e.g. burgen fruit and oat loaf

 

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