How to pack healthy school lunches

Kids PlayingWith children all over the country heading back to school this week, and parents running around trying to make sure that everything is ready for them, we thought we would provide some tips for parents who are confused about what to pack in their kid’s school lunchboxes.

It’s important to understand that the food that is packed in our children’s lunchboxes has a huge effect on their health and overall wellbeing. Packing healthy food helps teach them valuable nutrition lessons and will also help them to learn, play well and be happy in the classroom.

The foods that we send to school with our kids contributes to about a third of their daily nutrition intake, so it’s important that there’s lots of good food to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamins they need.

Below are some great tips we found from www.wyndham.vic.gov.au about how to pack a healthy lunchbox:

  • Try to include foods from all 5 food groups – fruit, vegetables, meat and alternatives, dairy and grain foods.
  • Include a ‘water only’ drink bottle – juice, cordial and soft drinks contain large amounts of sugar, few nutrients and can cause tooth decay.
  • Avoid the ‘packet lunchbox’ – Packaged foods are often heavily processed and low in nutrients. Fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and sandwiches are perfect.
  • Plan! – Write a list, buy and prepare foods for the week. Involve your child and they are more likely to want to eat the food.
  • Try making your own healthy snacks – e.g. dip and wholegrain crackers.
  • Save yourself time – make an extra serve of healthy food at dinnertime and have it for lunch.

Remember to also check with your child’s school to see if there are any foods that can’t be brought into the school, as this can differ from school to school.

If you have any tips about lunches to pack for the kids then feel free to share them here to help other parents out!