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Healthy lunch boxes

Why pack your children lunch boxes for school?

  • Nutrients
  • Balanced meal
  • Have energy throughout the whole day
  • You know what they are getting
  • Fill it with the five foods

I find that having a plan, take all the thinking and stress out of the process, allowing you to do what actually matters-offering your child a lunch that is healthy; balanced and exciting.

Choose one item from each category:

  1. Main
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruit
  4. Dairy or Snack
  5. Drink

Main

  • Ham and cheese Barley salad
  • Whole wheat chicken and avocado wrap
  • Turkey and gherkin seed bread sandwich
  • Baby potato salad with bacon
  • Spinach and cheese muffin
  • Tuna mayonnaise crackers
  • Beef and red pepper pitas
  • Chicken and lettuce pinwheels

Sandwich 101:

Does it always have to be a sandwich?

The base:

  • Pita
  • Bagels
  • Tortillas
  • Wraps
  • Seeded crackers
  • French bread

The filling:

  • Egg
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Sausage
  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Nut butter
  • Jam

The green bits: ok not always green but salad stuff

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Sprouts 
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Sliced or grate carrot
  • Coleslaw
  • Olives
  • Peppers 

The spreads: (this turns a simple sandwich into something to be anticipated)

  • Hummus
  • Bean dip
  • Avocado
  • Cream cheeses
  • Tomato relish
  • Pickles
  • Mustard 
  • Nut butters
  • Jam
  • Bovril

Vegetables

  • Cucumber sticks
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Carrot sticks
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Roasted vegetable salad
  • Broccoli cheese salad
  • Slices of peppers

Fruit

  • Grapes (try freezing them to taste extra special)
  • Mango slices (fresh or dried)
  • Fresh berries
  • Sliced apples or pears (dip in soda water to prevent browning)
  • Naartjie
  • Pineapple cubes
  • Apricot slices
  • Fruit kebab

Dairy or Snack

  • Dips for veggies: hummus, tzaziki, tomato relish, roast beetroot, broad bean and parmesan
  • Dips for fruit (or to eat alone): yogurt dip (plain or flavoured)
  • Homemade snack bars: can include seeds, nuts, fruit, coconut and extra fibre
  • Homemade fruit leather: there are many fruits you can make this for
  • Seed, nut and fruit mix: you can make your own mix or these can be bought

Drink

  • Water
  • Cold red bush tea with a touch of honey
  • Diluted fruit juice

When packing lunch for your little one (or big one) remember to pack:

  • Water
  • Thermos for warm food 
  • Ice pack for cold foods

Top tips:

  • Be creative (children loved to have you to make them feel extra special and they will be more likely to eat the food that you make them if you are)
  • Variety (eating the same food each day can be boring and the more variety the more nutrients your child will take in)
  • Add a little something fun each day, I don’t mean chocolates and sweets (yes I know that would have been easier to do☺

Ideas:

  • Little cards
  • Post-it with something fun that you can do together when they get home
  • Fruit cut in different shape
  • Favourite fruit
  • Kebabs instead of just cut fruit

How to ensure the success of making lunch boxes:

  • Involve your children
  • Plan ahead (lunch box weekly planner)
  • Have a cupboard dedicated to lunch boxes
  • Buy some fun cutters and containers

Variety (there are so many sites that you look at or groups you can join to get fresh new ideas to keep you children from getting bored of the same foods for lunch boxes)

Think out the lunch box

Make time

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