Lunch Box Ideas
BACK TO SCHOOL
Greensborough Nutritionist, Melanie Lionello from Naturally Nutritious says creating healthy lunch box snacks for kids is one of the biggest challenges for parents and carers as they get kids back to school.
Melanie’s top 10 tips for packing a healthy lunch box
- Your freezer is your best friend so prepare for the week on Sunday and this will save time and provide you a number of healthy and delicious options that you can take from the freezer each morning.
- A number of fruits freeze really well like watermelon, grapes, berries or orange and mandarin segments. Try cutting them into finger sizes so they are more enticing for children in a rush to get out to play. Fruits like grapes are quite delicious to eat frozen. Thread them onto a skewer or for larger fruit pieces onto a paddle pop so they are more appealing for young children. This will also make a great after school snack. You could even drizzle some chocolate over it to make it more appealing.
- Bake zucchini slices or mini muffins on the weekend and freeze them.
- Create some delicious homemade muesli bars or bliss balls with ingredients like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried fruits. You will know all the ingredients you have put into it and these freeze really well.
- Put some natural yogurt in a tub and add some of the muesli bar, granola or frozen berries to it to sweeten it. This is a much heathier option then some of the yogurts that include a lot of sugar.
- Cut up vegie sticks in advance. To avoid vegetables like carrots drying out, cut them and then place them in water. This will help them remain fresh.
- Cut up cubes of cheese, ham and add some wholegrain crackers. A lot of children don’t get enough fibre in their diets so this is a great snack. There are a lot of wholegrain options where the seeds have already been blended into the cracker. You could include some guacamole with spring onions and capsicum cut finely into it. Add lemon juice to keep it fresh and some salt and pepper to bring out the flavour.
- Make sandwiches the night before or a number of days before and freeze them. They will come out perfectly from the freezer to the lunch box.
- Expand your child’s tastes slowly and steadily for fussy eaters. If they don’t like lettuce then start with one spinach leaf with chicken, ham or cheese and then slowly incorporate more spinach leaves. Kids love routine, so don’t expect them to adopt healthy changes quickly.
- Being healthy doesn’t have to be extreme. It should fit your family’s budget and lifestyle. It is perfectly fine to have vegemite or jam on crackers or sandwiches during the day if you know they will be eating vegies at dinner. A bit of salt and pepper is also fine to bring out the taste in food.
Melanie Lionello will be running nutrition workshops at The Village Green in Greensborough Plaza later this year. Learn more about the event.