Healthy Packed Lunches
What to include in your child's lunchbox
A healthier lunchbox should:
- be based on starchy carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta)
- include fresh fruit and vegetables/salad
- include a source of protein such as beans and pulses, eggs, fish, meat, cheese (or dairy alternative)
- include a side dish such as a low-fat and lower-sugar yoghurt (or dairy alternative), tea cake, fruit bread, plain rice/corn cakes, homemade plain popcorn, sugar-free jelly
- include a drink such as water, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks
Healthier breaktime snacks
Children often like food they can eat with their fingers. Try these ideas:
- Chop up raw veggies – such as carrots or peppers, and give them hummus or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in.
- Chop up fruit – such as apple, satsuma segments, strawberries, blueberries, halved grapes or melon slices. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop them from going brown.
- Breadsticks and wholemeal crackers –make great finger foods. Try spreading low-fat soft cheese on them.
- Choose malt loaf, tea cakes, fruit breads or fruit – instead of cake, chocolate, cereal bars and biscuits. Fruit can be fresh or canned (in juice, not syrup).
Dried fruit is not recommended as a snack between meals as it's high in sugar and can be bad for teeth, but it's OK when eaten as part of a meal.