Shelley Gawith’s 5 tips for parents to prepare a healthy school lunch for their kids below.
1. Keep it easy: Does your child like smoothies and soups? If so they are simple, perfect items to put in the lunch box that keep your child hydrated and fills them up with great protein and healthy sources of fats, fruits and veggies.
2. Think finger foods and what your child likes the most by substituting it with healthier options: Ditch the sandwich and turn their lunch box into more adult- style platters so they can eat nutrient-packed foods. Think cut-up pieces of cheese, olives, meats, carrots, cheese, celery, guacamole (everyone loves avocado) sliced apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. For salty snacks, include coconut chips, seaweed chips or cauliflower pizza. To add a taste of sweetness, add in naturally-sweetened healthy fats like coconut chia pudding or avocado mousse.
3. Pack extra water: Always make sure you pack water, children need to stay hydrated to get them through the long school day. Water fountains can contain bacteria so they aren’t safe anymore
4. Consider leftovers for lunch: Eating leftovers for lunch also results in less food waste so ensure you’re cooking a healthy meal for the children during the school week.
5. Have fun with it: The best part is you child can help you prepare and make the foods they love for their lunchbox. Children are more likely to eat nutritious meals if they play a role in creating them. When planning lunches, allow your kids to suggest ideas and shop for foods, even if you are purchasing foods online. Ask them to select breads and rolls, vegetables, fruits and spreads. If it’s an option, take your kids to the farmer’s market and let them pick out fruits and vegetables