Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lunches for Healthy Kids

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lunches for Healthy Kids

Article excerpt

Vani Naidoo

THINKING of healthy ways in which to fill your child's lunchbox everyday can be an exhausting and frustrating experience for Fraser Coast parents. Healthy snacks are essential for active children. They provide the fuel that helps them concentrate and learn.

Of course, in theory, we all know what should go in a lunchbox but the most nutritious offering only works if your child actually eats it. Encouraging children to help with their lunches is one way to encourage them to finish it, but if time is of the essence perhaps you'd be better served by getting them to make a list of the healthy foods they enjoy.

The most balanced lunch boxes contain fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables and a combination of protein, dairy and carbohydrates.

Fruit a Opt for fruit in season as it is cheaper and tastier. Cut up the fruit to make it more manageable or if you are including whole apples or bananas ensure they are on the smaller side. Avoid dried fruit that can become sticky and is high in sugar as well as fruit bars or straps that have very little fibre and can get stuck to teeth.

Vegetables a Sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber and capsicum served with a separate dip like hummus or tzatziki can make lunch interesting.

Dairy products a If your child loves a drink of milk, you can freeze a small box overnight so it stays cold. Yoghurts and cheeses need to be packed in an insulated lunchbox or one that has a small freezer block in it. Stay away from dairy desserts and flavoured milks which are high in sugar.

Breads a Different breads add interest. Choose from wholegrain or high fibre breads like rolls, pita bread, flat bread, bagels, foccacias, scones, pikelets, muffins, crumpets, crispbreads, rice cakes or corn thins.

Fillings a Some kids would have Vegemite or peanut butter every day if you let them but it is important they have foods with varied nutritional content. Try cheese, tuna, boiled eggs, sliced cold meats, chicken, baked beans or even falafals. …

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