Can you believe that the school holidays are almost over?! This is often a time filled with emotion – excitement, apprehension, nostalgia and even relief for some families (wink wink!)
As parents, we know that back to school also means the daily packed lunch box. For many, this can be a source of frustration and stress, especially when packing for more than one, whilst trying to make the contents varied, inspiring, nutritious and enjoyable at the same time.
A great way to get kids excited about their lunches is to include them in your planning and shopping. Ask them what they would like to eat, and talk to them about the importance of healthy food and how it will sustain them through the day. Get them to help pack their lunches the evening before (this will also help keep the morning rush stress levels down).
Important elements to keep in mind when packing lunches (as well as ensuring everything is healthy and delicious) – are hydration and storage. Ensure your little ones stay well hydrated with plenty of water plus fresh fruit and veg such as watermelon and cucumber.
Keeping their food cool is vital too. Include a small ice pack in their lunch box to help keep food fresh and safe throughout the day.
What to include:
- Fresh crunchy vegetables (capsicum, carrot, cucumber)
- Calcium rich foods (cheese, tahini, natural yoghurt)
- Protein (lean meat, salmon, tuna or a hard-boiled egg)
- Wholegrains (sourdough wholegrain bread, wholemeal flat bread or seeded crackers)
- Healthy fats (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado)
- Fresh fruit (berries, mango, apple)
- Of course, water.
If your little ones are used to juice, I suggest diluting this down, with the intention of moving to water eventually.