It’s that time of year that school parents start thinking about getting kids back to school and into healthy eating routines. I can hear the groans! It’s not always easy to keep kids (or adults) satisfied especially when this involves a packed lunch. But good eating habits can really help keep anyone on an even keel. Here are some basics…
Start the day with a breakfast that is protein and fibre rich as well as low in sugar.
Eggs and wholegrain toast, porridge or muesli with fresh fruit and nuts, or soaked chia seeds with toppings like coconut and berries. Yoghurt or dairy-free yoghurts can be added on top.
By choosing whole (unprocessed) foods, not those out of a box you end up with less food additives, preservatives and more fibre and protein. By avoiding extra sugar (this includes sugary breakfast cereals, fruit juices and soft drinks) you skip energy slumps in the short-term and keep the risk down for a myriad of health problems down the track…from tooth cavities to type-2 diabetes.
The next step is a healthy snack box and lunch box.
Aim to pack at least one fruit and one vegetable cut up ready for snacking. Seeded crackers and hummus are great too. Lunch boxes with a number of compartments are useful. Other sections can be filled with protein sources like cheese cubes, natural kabana to add to the plentiful amount of fruit, vegetable, sprouts, avocado, tuna and nuts (if allowed) and seeds. Any of these ingredients can be rolled into a wrap or served in a good sourdough bread.
Bringing a water bottle is also a must for hydration to keep brain and body going the day.
If you tend to have dinner leftovers at home, a great investment is an insulated stainless steel container. These are also fabulous for keeping meals warm, plus you can take chunky soups to school (or work) in the cooler months. This may save you tearing my hair when your child is over “boring sandwiches and lunches”.