What does a healthy lunch look like? This handy guide will help you pull together a nutritious (and delicious) lunch for your child.
Protein helps keep children feeling fuller for longer and is essential for growth since it provides the building blocks for hormones, antibodies and muscles. Try sandwich fillings like chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon or lean ham. Hard-boiled eggs and cheese slices or sticks are also good sources of protein.
Kids need high fibre, wholegrain carbohydrates to provide all-day energy. Choose grainy rolls, wraps, flat breads, and high-fibre loaves for sandwiches.
Fruit and vegies
Fruit and vegies are a vital part of any healthy lunch for kids. The trick is getting them to eat it! Fresh fruit is the healthiest option (it usually contains more fibre and is lower in kJ), so try bite-sized options like strawberries, blueberries or grapes to mix things up with the regular apples, oranges and bananas. You can also switch to dried fruits occasionally, and peaches in natural juice are a yummy alternative for a treat.
Water is the best drink choice for children – in order to make it more appealing, let your child pick out their own reusable drink bottle and decorate it with stickers. You can offer juice (half juice/half water) a couple of times a week, but be aware that this may lead to increased sugar consumption that could cause tooth decay and weight gain.
Snacks are often a child’s favourite part of their lunch... but it’s important to keep them as healthy as possible. Low-fat yoghurt is a great option. Packaged snacks should contain less than 600kJ per serve, and should include wholegrains or calcium and be low-GI.
These are some of our favourite healthy kid-friendly snacks – even better, they are yummy and under 600kJ!