WITH a return to school comes ravenous, hungry kids and although they may gulp down their lunches at lightning speed to hang out with their mates, a lunchbox jam-packed with healthy options will not only sustain their attention but will keep them fit and healthy.
Although packing the kids’ lunches can be arduous, often calling upon culinary creativity at the end of the night or in the mad rush of the morning, it can be made simple and effective by mixing and matching snack options from each of the six healthy food groups.
The six healthy food groups are:
- Fruit – could include fresh, frozen, pureed or canned in natural juice
- Vegetables, legumes and beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
- Grain- cereal foods
- Plain water.
By including something from each category in your child’s lunch box you can utilise whatever you have on hand, and you can also feel rest assured that your child is getting all the energy and nutrition they need.
To spruce up the fruit and vegetable portion of the lunchbox try fruit kebabs or fruit snack packs while adding hummus, tomato salsa or tzatziki to cut up cucumber, carrots or capsicum can ensure all the veggies get munched.
Making mini homemade pizzas and fritters is another great idea for making tuna, chicken, salmon or any other meat more appetising while mixing up the breads, wraps and muffins can ensure grains are also covered.
For a treat, surprise your child with some sushi or pasta salad, while last night’s drumsticks or lamb cutlets make a delicious cold meat option for the next day.