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What Goes into a Healthy Lunchbox?

When sending your child off to school, packing a healthy lunchbox will reassure you that your child will have the necessary mind and body fuel for an active day of learning and fun.

Because you’re not personally on hand to supervise your child’s lunch, it’s important to pack food that you know will be eaten. One way to achieve this is to discuss lunches with your child and provide multiple healthy options. Using the healthy lunchbox suggestions discussed below will ensure that a nutritious meal is always available to your child, even in your absence.

A balanced box provides a healthy lunch
A balanced box provides a healthy lunch

The benefits of packing a balanced lunchbox that includes several small items are twofold:

  • Variety ensures that your child can obtain the most important nutrients
  • Including multiple options means that there will be more than one food item your child enjoys and finishes

Include sandwiches for energy-boosting carbohydrates (wholegrain if possible, as this provides dietary fibre that aids digestion). Also include a piece of fruit for valuable vitamins, reduced fat dairy (yoghurt is good) and a tasty but healthy snack that your child can enjoy in-between classes or extra-mural activities.

Get creative

Children love variety as much as anybody, so if your child complains about having to eat sandwiches every day of the week, you can always bake your own health snacks. Healthy eating for kids can be adventurous: think home-baked crisp breads with low-fat dips that provide a full, healthy lunch in a more novel format.

You can also get creative with leftovers – if you’ve saved last night’s salad or leftover chicken, roll these up in low-GI wraps, adding healthy dressings to make them extra tasty. Presenting protein, carbs and greens in a variety of ways (and including occasional healthy lunchbox surprises) will make lunchtime more colourful and appealing.