Do you have a little one at school? Or perhaps kindergarten? If you’re having to pack lunches for kids and you’re keen to ensure you’re keeping those lunches nice and healthy, take a read of these great tips that Georgia from Well Nourished…
When it comes to packing snacks or lunch for an outing, many mums fall into the habit of reaching for processed foods. With a little pre-planning, it’s just as easy and so much healthier for children’s growing bodies and brains to pack whole, unprocessed foods.
Packing an unprocessed lunchbox really does set a benchmark for the future when they are eating away from home. Toddlers who are only offered processed food when out and about often reach school age and expect only processed foods in their lunchbox (because that’s what they’re used to).
Once they are at school, a third of a child’s daily nutrition comes from their lunch box, so the food that’s packed needs to be nourishing.
5 simple tips for packing a healthy lunchbox
(and preparing your toddler to enjoy a whole foods lunchbox throughout their school life!!)
1. Pack homemade snacks and treats.
This way you have complete control over the ingredients ensuring only the best for your child.
Make sure your baking is refined sugar-free experiment with ingredients. Nuts and seeds provide good fats, minerals and are super nourishing. Many vegetables can also ‘hide’ nicely in sweet treats for a plant based nutrient boost.
2. Always include vegetables, preferably locally sourced, in-season and organic.
They can be raw, steamed or baked. Don’t be afraid to serve cooked vegetables cold, in fact, it’s a good idea to get toddlers used to eating unheated foods in preparation for the time when they go to kindy or school.
Make vegetables more interesting by packing a dip they like or toss them in a delicious homemade salad dressing. Plain yoghurt with a little cinnamon or tahini makes a delicious, quick dip to dunk veggies.
3. Include protein and good fats
Doing so will sustain your child’s appetite throughout the kindi or school day and support their growth and development. Boiled eggs, leftover meat or fish, quinoa and organic yoghurt are wonderful sources of protein to pack.
4. Be prepared for throwing a healthy lunchbox together quickly.
Baking in batches and freezing snacks and treats so they are always on hand to pack a healthy lunchbox is a great timesaving tip. I personally bake once a fortnight (for about an hour) to keep my freezer stocked up with snack to grab and go.
Dinner leftovers are also great for packing into the lunchbox so when you cook dinner, portion the meal to ensure leftovers (for you and your child). In winter time you can also use a thermos to keep leftovers warm.
5. Finally, get them involved in packing their lunchbox.
Kids just love to be autonomous and by simply involving them in placing the food into their own lunchbox, it will not only ensure they will eat what is packed but also paves the way for a lifelong enjoyment of eating whole foods.
A Naturopath, freestyle cook, and mother of two divine children. Also wife to a fine food loving husband. She as 20 years of Naturopathic experience, treating and mentoring patients on matters of health and wellness. Her blog is her commitment to further share my passion and knowledge of health, food and healing.
For more healthy inspiration and immune-boosting family friendly recipes, visit www.wellnourished.com.au
Georgia has some wonderful eBooks available which are just brilliant! So many great recipes all in once place. Be sure to check them out!
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