As much as remote learning was a struggle, it was lovely not having to pack lunchboxes every day. Whilst there are those who do lots of prep work and home baking for their kids’ lunches and snacks, there are just as many who don’t have the inclination, or the time! If this is the case for you don’t worry. You can still create healthy lunchboxes that are simple to throw together, and what’s more, delicious too.
What does a healthy lunchbox look like?
We all know that our bodies need a wide variety of different foods that are nutrient rich. Our kids’ lunchboxes should have this variety. That means sources of protein and healthy fats as well as fresh fruit and veg with minimal carbohydrates. Gone are the days of the vegemite sandwich, apple and packet of chips as there are so many more options. If you are still stuck in those days, consider these ideas below for healthy brains and bodies.
Protein helps with concentration, balances mood and sustains energy levels throughout the day. It is also essential for growth and repair. Some healthy protein ideas include seeds, lean meats, eggs, legumes and nuts (if your school allows them).
Chicken sandwich/wrap with some salad ingredients
Veggie sticks with hummus
Boiled egg with some veggie sticks
Egg sandwich with some salad ingredients
- Apple slices or celery sticks with seed/nut butter
These provide vital fuel for your child’s brain. Some great healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut products and full fat dairy.
Veggie sticks with avocado dip
Trail mix of various seeds, coconut flakes, dried fruit (minimal) and (optional) nuts
Plain yoghurt or coconut yoghurt with added seasonal whole fruit (berries, apple, peaches)
Cheese slices on brown rice crackers/rice cakes
Fruit and Vegetables
Whilst fruit always seems like a healthy choice, too much fruit with its natural sugars isn’t ideal either. 2 serves of fruit per day is the recommendation. Also be mindful of how much dried fruit you are giving your child as the sugar level is even higher in dried fruit. Avoid this by offering a wide variety of fruit and mostly vegetables. Choose what is fresh and in season wherever possible.
- Carrot and cucumber sticks
Fresh, filtered water is the best option for busy bodies and minds. Ensure your child’s drink bottle is cleaned regularly to keep any nasties away.
Set up your children for a productive day at school with a healthy lunchbox. They will concentrate better and be less tired when they are fueled with healthy food. If you prepare the time-consuming elements (like wraps, home-made dips and home-made trail mix) in advance, it will be even easier for parents, or the kids, to pack their lunch box in the morning.
What are your family’s healthy lunchbox favourites?