What's in your child's lunchbox?

What's in your child's lunchbox? teaser
It’s the age old question: what healthy snacks should I pack for my children? The many factors such as likes and dislikes, school policies, time, nutrition, variety, logistics and budget can make our choices very limited. 

The key to giving your children healthy, yummy and different snacks is actually quite simple – all you need is preparation.

Plan in advance
Sit down with the kids and make a list of snacks from a greater list which will be their options for the week. This will also make shopping less hectic and less expensive.

Get the kids involved
Spend time on the weekend with them and do a big batch of baking. The ideas are endless!

Variety is the key
Model your children’s lunch box around the 5 core food groups (fruit, veg, dairy, grains and cereals and protein).

Make food fun
Name certain foods or recipes a fun or wacky name, cut fruits into different shapes, ensure a variety of colour. E.g. celery boats with low fat cream cheese and tomato.

Freeze food
Where applicable, freeze homemade cooking to prevent the food being eaten too quickly and to ensure access to healthy snacks when time is limited.

Choose fruit and vegetables as first option. 
Snacks ideas include
  • Fruit: fresh, dried, tinned or frozen
  • Yoghurt  and reduced fat custard (make sure sugar content is <10g per 100g)
  • Homemade/air popped popcorn (be mindful of the amount of butter and salt added)
  • Crackers with vegemite/cheese/tomato/dip/ham/tuna/jam/avocado etc.
  • Tinned tuna  with or without beans
  • Nuts (home snack only)
  • Crumpets/muffins/bread with spreads (the more grains and seeds the better)
  • Raisin toast
  • Homemade slices/muesli bars/biscuits/pancakes/banana bread etc. (swap ingredients from wholemeal flour, low fat dairy, coco and pureed fruit)
  • Homemade quiches, pies etc.
  • Homemade dips that go with raw vegetables, crackers, some fruits etc.
  • Homemade mini pizzas with wraps, pita bread or muffins.
  • Rolled wraps with cottage or ricotta cheese, dill, cucumber and grated carrot
  • Homemade meat balls/lentil patties etc.
  • Homemade chicken nuggets
  • Boiled eggs
  • Small tins of 4 bean mix, corn or baked beans/corn on the cob 
  • If time is limited, here are a few convenience snacks that are also healthy:
  • Roasted chickpeas (Chic nuts)
  • Golden Days seed bar with quinoa
  • Devondale Smoothies Berry Mix 
Kate Stanfield
Accredited Practising Dietitian
360 Health + Community.
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