It’s Back to School time for many of our kids in what has been a long, unpredictable and difficult year. As great as it is to see them get back to normality, this new lift on restrictions comes with its own concerns, especially when it comes to our kid’s health and immunity. Not only that, but with remote work and school, we’ve been able to operate on a less regimented schedule and whip up nutritious meals from our kitchens with relative ease. Now we need to re-introduce ourselves to meal prep, lunchbox guidelines and portions that will be enough to sustain our little ones throughout the day.
Don’t fret though- our dietician Michelle has created a guide to help you build a tasty, super-nutritious lunch box that’s easy, versatile and complies with most school lunchbox guidelines!
Step One – WHOLEGRAINS
(Wholegrain bread, Porridge scones, wholemeal pittas, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Quinoa)
Children should be eating between 15-20g fibre a day. Unfortunately, most kids today fall short of this. Fibre not only helps to ease constipation but also helps to keep children fuller for longer. It’s very handy to pack the little ones off with a sambo but make sure to choose the high fibre breads. Or even mix it up with a little quinoa or rice bowl with added veggies
Step Two – PROTEIN
(Animal or plant based – chicken, tuna, salmon, cheese, eggs, seeds, beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu)
Protein is essential for growing bodies. Kids tend to like snacking on cheese and meats so can be included separately. Egg muffins are a great way of ticking all boxes – mixing eggs, veggies and meat. Kids love them as they can eat them on the go. Or even include a little pot of hummus. Or you can make egg fried rice using brown rice and add some peas and sweetcorn.
Step Three – VEGGIES
(pepper sticks, cucumber, mangetout, carrots, sugar snap peas, sweetcorn)
Make sure to add a splash of colour. Kids rarely have veggies for brekkie here, and if they are not consuming them for lunch it is unlikely they are going to meet their 5 a day in their evening meal alone. A large proportion of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants should come from veggies. Disrupt the traditional lunch of a measly ham sambo and encourage your child to eat an array of finger foods – veggie crudites, porridge scones, hummus pots, cheese singles.
Step Four – FRUIT
This is an easy one – most kids love fruit!
Step Five – HEALTHY TREAT
If you want to give your child a little healthy treat you could make homemade banana bread with added milled seed, granola bars, energy balls, mixed dried fruit, raisins packs or our very own Nutri Balls (these are allergen free, sugar free so meet all school food healthy guidelines)
Step Six – HYDRATION
Make sure your child has their own water bottle that they can refill throughout the day. Not only will this help with concentration but can also prevent constipation.