The bells have rung. The school year is here; which means new pens, pencils, books and a new lunch box guide!
Children need to eat a variety of foods to keep healthy. To make it easy, Nutrition Australia outlined the perfect components of a healthy lunchbox:
- A main item, such as a sandwich/wrap/roll, pasta with vegetables, soup, frittata or sushi
- A fruit or vegetable snack, such as whole fruit, cut up veggie sticks, canned fruit in natural juice, a small salad
- A second snack based on a core food: such as reduced fat yoghurt, grainy crackers with reduced fat cheese, plain popcorn, a slice of raisin bread, a wholemeal fruit muffin, a boiled egg or a can of tuna
- A drink: A bottle of tap water is best and plain UHT milk is also acceptable
This allows all of the five food groups to be incorporated into the child’s diet.
Another important matter to address are food allergies. Allergies and intolerances have emerged as a major public health problem in developed countries during the twentieth century, with about 560,000 Australia children aged between two and 18 years affected.
The most common food allergies in schools are nuts, eggs, milk, seeds, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. Before starting the school year, ask the school if there are any students with food allergies. This gives you an idea of which foods to exclude from lunch boxes, creating a safer school environment.
For an easy kid-friendly recipe, check out this Chicken and Vegetable Wrap.