As a parent, choosing the right food to fill your child’s lunchbox can be a real battleground.
In an ideal world, every child would be sent off for the day with a nutritionally sound lunch, but often even when we think we are making the right choices, we’re actually not.
The problem is that due to sneaky advertising, confusing labelling or consumer misinformation, it’s not always easy to know what the best options are.
Here are some common lunchbox treats which might need a rethink.
This is one area of advertising which really annoys me, because as a parent of two young children, I know what a gauntlet I need to run in order to get an appropriate breakfast cereal into my trolley.
Colourful packaging, recognisable characters and giveaways detract from the reality of breakfast cereals aimed at children which is often a box filled with high amounts of sugar, high levels of salt and little to no nutritional content.
Instead, try swapping artificially coloured and sweetened cereals for muesli and yoghurt in the mornings and be sure to choose yoghurt with little fat and sugar added.
2. Fruit juice.
There is actually no reason for fruit juices and cordials to have a place in your child’s diet. It’s often just an unnecessary, sugar-laden addition.
Instead, encourage your children to drink water throughout the day from an early age to stay hydrated.
To jazz up the water, you can always try adding some fresh fruit or herbs for flavour (without the sugar), and a quick trip around Pinterest can fill you with inspiration. My personal favourite is the good old fashioned lemon, which not only kick-starts your metabolism in the mornings, but is also great for healthy skin.