It is important to make sure the lunchboxes that children bring to school provide a healthy, balanced lunch. This means plenty of foods that contain the nutrients that children need, and fewer foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat.
Packing the lunchbox
A balanced packed lunch should contain:
- Starchy foods. These are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, and others.
- Protein foods. These are meat, fish, eggs, beans and others.
- A dairy item. This could be cheese or yoghurt.
- Vegetables or salad, and a portion of fruit.
Starchy foods are a good source of energy, and should make up a third of the lunchbox. To prevent lunches becoming boring instead of sandwiches give your child bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or seeded bread, not white bread.
Children often like food they can eat with their fingers, so chop up raw vegetables such as carrots or peppers, and give them hummus or cottage cheese to dip their vegetables in. Breadsticks and wholemeal crackers are great finger foods and they can be spread with low-fat soft cheese or eaten with reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.
Replace chocolate bars and cakes with fresh or dried fruit. Vary the fruit each day and get them to try new things, like kiwi or melon.
You could also make up a tasty fruit salad. Be inventive and encourage your children when they try something new.
Click here for the Marlborough Primary School Guidelines of what should be in a school packed lunch.