Healthy lunchboxes

A packed lunch is a very important part of your child’s school day. This is a good opportunity for you to only give healthy foods as peer pressure often plays a role in your child’s diet and they are more likely to consume healthy foods if their friends are doing the same. ‘Healthy’ does not have to mean ‘boring’ for your child. Rather focus on making good food fun! The lunchbox should aim to be healthy, well balanced, colourful and never the same. This does not mean it has to be time consuming or expensive. Rather that you just need to be organised and imaginative e.g. purchase sandwich cutters e.g. to make the bread dinosaur shaped, use cookie cutters, make ‘ face shapes’ etc

Try to include something from all the food groups:

  • Starchy foods e.g. low GI bread, seed rolls, wholewheat pita breads, wholewheat crackers, mini rolls, wraps, couscous, pasta,
  • Protein e.g. meat, chicken, tuna, salmon, sardines, egg, peanut butter, nuts, biltong; yoghurt, milky drink, cottage cheese, cheese
  • Fruit e.g. fresh fruit, dried fruit, tinned fruit in juice
  • Vegetables e.g. raw carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, roast vegetables, chunky vegetable soup
  • Fat e.g. avocado, nut spread, olive or canola oil, thinly spread low fat margarine

It is important, as part of a healthy diet to occasionally add a little treat as a surprise:

  • Slice of banana bread
  • Low GI muffin
  • Pop corn
  • Plain biscuits e.g. digestives
  • Cereal bar
  • Bite size chocolate bar

What drinks are best?

Water is always first choice. Occasionally add diluted fruit juice, but steer clear of sweet, fizzy drinks. For variety you can occasionally add smoothies or plain milk.

Lunch box ideas:

  • Mini pita breads stuffed with chicken, lettuce and tomato; small yoghurt; apple
  • Low GI bread sandwich with avocado and cucumber slices; mini cheese triangles; dried mango
  • Couscous with roasted vegetables and crumbled feta cheese; biltong sticks; banana
  • Tuna mayonnaise with provitas; mini tomatoes and cucumber sticks; fruit salad and yoghurt
  • Pasta salad with chick peas; small yoghurt; pear
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich; smoothie
  • Ham, cheese and tomato sandwich; slice of banana bread; peanuts and raisins

If you have any great lunch box ideas that you would like to share with us, please email debby@clinicaldiets.co.za