Going back to school can offer new opportunities for children, and what they eat can contribute to their success. Not only does preparing a healthy lunchbox ensure kids get the necessary fuel they need, but it can also support them in learning healthy habits for a healthy life.
To ensure that your little ones’ bodies remain energised for a full day of learning and play, follow these five simple steps below:
1. Learn the Serving Sizes
Before preparing lunchboxes, knowing how much fuel kids need is important.
While all little ones are different, the Australian Dietary Guidelines provide a general guide for how much of each food group primary school-age kids should eat throughout the day:
- 4.5 – 5 serves of veggies and beans
- 1.5 – 2 serves of fruit
- 4 – 5 serves of grain foods, mostly whole grain varieties, e.g., whole grain bread, cereal and
- 1.5 – 2.5 serves of protein, e.g., lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes or beans
- 1.5 – 3 serves of dairy, e.g., milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
Serving sizes may change depending on age and activity levels.
A healthy breakfast provides the body with nutrients to start the day off right. By eating a nutritious breakfast, children are more likely to have the focus and energy they need to perform well in school and engage in physical activities throughout the day.
Some good breakfast options include:
- Porridge with fresh berries and nuts
- Scrambled eggs on toast
- A smoothie with yoghurt and fruit
- Whole grain cereal with yoghurt, milk and nuts
If you have some time up your sleeve, here are three delicious options you can prepare ahead of breakfast time:
3. A Healthy Lunchbox
When packing lunch, try to include a combination of the core recommended food groups. Whole grain sandwiches, a colourful salad with veggies, and crackers with dips can be great lunch options.
Leftovers can also serve as an easy way to pack a lunch with food you know the kids will love. While preparing dinner, make a little extra to include in the lunchbox the next day.
Here are some other lunch options:
4. Ready-To-Go Snacks
Choosing yummy snacks for the lunchbox is easy when there are so many nutritious options on supermarket shelves. We know life can get really busy, so these are some of our favourite healthier options you can pop into their bag.
- Roasted fava beans
- Messy Monkeys Wholegrain Bites
- Mini rice crackers
- Lentil bites
- Sultana packs
- Grain waves
- Hummus to-go pack with crackers
- Tuna and beans
- Mini baked beans
- Vita-Weats with dips
5. Home Made Snacks
Looking for fun and easy snacks to make ahead of time as an after-school treat? These snacks are simply delicious and nutritious! Just read through the ingredients list, as some of these recipes contain nuts.