Top Tips for Healthy Kids' Lunch Boxes
21 Jan 2015 - Anneka Manning
Whilst it can often seem such a chore to pack healthy but tasty options for your kids' lunch boxes, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are my three top tips that will help take the headache out of packing healthy school lunch boxes:
Read the LabelsAt a glance some bought baked snacks and other lunch box products may seem ‘healthy’. On the packet they claim to be (and are) low in fat, gluten-free, don’t contain artificial flavours, and the nutritional breakdown seems pretty good ... but sometimes if you want to work out if something is actually ‘healthy’, the best place to look is the ingredient list.
If a product has more than 6-8 ingredients, some or all of which your grandmother or mother (or even you!) wouldn’t recognise, this should sound warning bells immediately. Try to avoid those that contain artificial and highly processed ingredients. To find out more about the four 'nasties' that you need to look out for when packing your kids' lunch boxes and how to avoid them CLICK HERE.
Go for the ‘good’ fatsFat is not necessarily always the best indicator for determining if something is good for your child. Children do need a certain amount of fat in their diet so don't try and avoid it completely. As long as fats are within reasonable levels and are the ‘good’ fats (not those that contain trans fats or are highly processed such as margarine) then they are fine to be part of an everyday lunch or snack.
Be PreparedIt's a great idea to make a batch of baked goods on the weekend, preferably those that will last a few days if not a week, to have ready to throw into the lunch boxes on weekdays. Having a home-baked item is so much better, and satisfying, than eating commercially made muesli bars or biscuits, for example. Not only will you know exactly what has gone into them and have control of the type and quality of ingredients, the kids will also love a devour them!
In the meantime, good luck with the lunch boxes and happy baking!