Summer holidays are over, and that means it’s time for your children to head back to school. This means thinking about what to pack in your childrens’ lunch boxes so they will receive good nutrition and the energy they need whilst learning.
The key to shaking up the school lunch box is to KEEP IT HEALTHY AND SIMPLE. Meal times at school are also playtime for kids at school, particularly if it is their first year and they’re making new friends. Foods that are healthy and are able to be eaten quickly are best, so leave those large meal creations for the weekend. Ideas include: cut up pieces of fruit (apple, strawberries, orange, pear, banana, pineapple, rockmelon are good choices), small yoghurt, veggie sticks, cheese cubes, rice crackers and sandwiches cut into soldiers are all good for little fingers to easily pick up.
The idea of saving some food for lunch can often be lost on little ones in their first year of school, so it is a good idea to clearly separate recess and lunch, otherwise your little one might find they are opening an empty lunchbox come lunchtime. Separating can be as simple as popping recess into a trusty old paper bag. Remember, simple and basic.
If you are sending packaged food to school, open packets before putting them in the lunchbox. This will not only help your child and encourage them to eat the food, but help the teachers too, who may need to open 30 plus packets at any given time. A mini bulldog clip holds open packets together perfectly. Another good idea is using zip-lock bags, because they are a great alternative to cling wrap – unwrapping a cling-wrapped sandwich can be difficult for the kiddies.
Lastly but certainly not least, include a bottle of water. Despite juices and cordials in the market being labelled as ‘natural’ and ‘100% Juice’, these drinks tend to be high in sugar. A good tip, especially in summer, is to half fill and freeze your child’s drink bottle overnight and then top it up with water in the morning. Your child then has an instant icy drink which doubles as an ice pack to keep their lunch fresh until time to eat.