Children need a well-balanced diet, including a variety of foods for growth and development. You cannot always control what they eat when they are away from home, but you can give them healthy choices to eat for lunch. A healthy lunch at school is important to keep energy levels high and to keep their mind alert – ready to concentrate and learn throughout the busy school day.
Prevent kids from bringing their lunches back home
- Let your child choose his lunch box and make sure he can open it easily
- Let your children help with the grocery shopping and encourage them to choose healthy snacks for their lunch box
- Try to give the kids some choice about what they take for lunch, and if possible, get them involved with preparing the ‘healthier’ foods
- Choose foods that are easy to open rather than those with hard-to-open packaging
- Remove the peel of some fruits or cut fruits in half. Offer grapes, berries and other fruits that don’t need peeling and are quick and easy to eat
Choosing foods for a healthy lunch is easy!
- Start by choosing a variety of foods like whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats and eggs etc. to plan a healthy school lunch. This will ensure that your child is receiving adequate nutrition throughout the day
- Bread is the most common lunch food for kids. Choose a range of breads such as sliced bread (choose whole grains more often), pita bread. Be creative and use a variety of fillings made from veggies, low fat cheese/butter/mayonnaise with colourful dips or sauces to keep children interested
- Include dairy products like low fat cheese, yoghurt and watch that your children are not replacing milk (or chocolate milk) with sugary juice
- Encourage children to drink water throughout the day
- Save sweet treats for special occasions
- Choose healthy snack food options including cereal bars, canned or fresh fruit, yogurt, and vegetable sticks with dip over fat-laden snacks made from refined cereals like pizzas, burgers,chips etc