Packing a healthy lunch

When it comes to your child’s lunchbox, making foods that look good and taste even better can become a tedious task. It’s easy to end up in a rut of packing the same old sandwiches day in, day out. You may even end up reaching for pre-packaged foods that save time but might not be the healthiest choice. These pre- packaged foods can also become quite expensive and usually contain plastics that cannot be recycled.

Aim For Balance
Creating a healthy lunch box that’s affordable and tasty isn’t as time consuming as you may think. A child’s lunch box can account for up to 1/3 of their daily nutritional intake, so aiming for a balance of the main food groups will ensure that your child is getting the best out of their lunchtime meals. For an easy guide, categorise these food groups as: vegetables and fruits, protein and fats, grains and carbohydrates.

A Picky Eater
If you have a child that refuses to eat certain foods, it can be difficult to know what healthy foods to put into their lunchbox. The usual answer for a picky eater is to give them many different options in the hope that they will eat at least a little. However, this way of helping your child to eat lunch will cause a lot of food waste and can become quite expensive over time.

If your child is coming home with a full lunch box, try sending them to school with less. To provide fewer yet familiar options, a lunch could look more manageable and not too overwhelming, making a child want to try the small foods they recognise. However, also remember that eating at school is different than at home. There are many more distractions at school that could be interfering with your child’s ability to eat a full amount each day, so try talking with your child’s teacher if you feel that this may be a concern.

Communication is key when it comes to food. If there are certain food groups that your child refuses to eat, ask them what they would prefer instead. To make it fun, write out lists of healthy foods that they enjoy and plan out the meals together - aiming for balance in each lunchbox. Keeping your child educated and involved in the lunch-making process can make them excited for their meal and puts a stop to any unpleasant food surprises that could put them off the entire meal.