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Ideas For A Healthy Packed Lunch

Ideas For A Healthy Packed Lunch
At this time of year, mums everywhere are racking their brains for healthy packed lunch ideas.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has plenty of suggestions below to create healthy packed lunches which are full of flavour and variety. Rachel Cooke, Bristol Healthy School Dietitian and spokesperson for The British Dietetic Association, said:
'What children eat at a young age has a massive impact on their eating habits for life, so it is essential we get the younger. When putting together a packed lunch, it is so easy to go down the usual route of packets of salty savoury snacks crisps, bars of chocolate, fizzy drinks and the same old boring sandwich day after day. Many adults wouldn't accept eating the same things day in day out, so why should children?"

Tips for a Healthy Packed Lunch

Bullet  Try to keep a selection of breads in the freezer for sandwiches. Using a different type of bread each day can make sandwiches more interesting. Try multigrain rolls, bagels, baguettes, pitta breads & wraps etc! Lots of children like meat / cheese or fish etc and bread separate so it doesn't go soggy. If you are using a spread choose a reduced fat one - or do without it completely if your filling is moist.
Bullet  Raid the fridge for leftovers - some foods like pizza and pasta taste just as good cold. Cook extra pasta, couscous or rice. Mix it with cut-up vegetables, a few nuts flaked tuna or mackerel.
Bullet  Tuna with cucumber, green pepper, sweetcorn or tomato
Bullet  Low fat hummus and cucumber
Healthy Lunchbox

Bullet  Egg and cress (grow your own?)
Bullet  Peanut butter and banana
Bullet  Cottage cheese and dried apricots
Bullet  Oily fish
Bullet  Grated cheese and tomato
Bullet  Cooked chicken or turkey, tomatoes, and lettuce

5 or more portions of fruit and veg per day

Bullet  fresh fruit e.g. apple, grapes, banana, kiwi fruit, wedge of melon / peeled orange / kiwi and spoon / pot of strawberries. Surprise your child with a different fruit / veg choice every day of the week!
Bullet  dried fruits, e.g. raisins, apricots
Bullet  chopped raw vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes or a mixed salad
Bullet  tinned fruit in natural juice - pop in a small container

Dairy Snacks

Try to include some dairy products in your child's lunchbox. Check sugar levels - 5g equals about one teaspoon.
Bullet  low fat yogurt - plain or fruit flavoured
Bullet  low fat fromage frais
Bullet  small pot of rice pudding or custard
Bullet  Milk / fruit-based milkshakes

Sweet Snacks

Fancy something sweet in your lunch-box? There's nothing wrong with this but do try to make healthier choices when possible:
Girl with lunchbox
Bullet  currant bun, scone or fruit loaf,
Bullet  plain popcorn
Bullet  cereal bar (remember to look at sugar levels)
Bullet  fun sized bar of chocolate

Lunchbox Drinks

Bullet  Plain water (still or sparkling)
Bullet  Plain milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed) or plain yoghurt combined with fruit e.g. smoothies, pureed fruit with plain yoghurt
Bullet  Pure fruit juice in small cartons or in a small bottle
Bullet  Hot drinks in the winter, e.g. soups

Keep Lunchbox Cool

Bullet  Use a cool bag and pop in an ice-pack or freeze a carton of juice and place in with food to keep cool
Bullet  Keep in the fridge until morning if you make it the night before
Bullet  Don't store your lunch next to a radiator or in the sun

September 2011

Information by The British Dietetic Association (BDA)

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