Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Back to School
The holidays are almost over and it’s time to start thinking of healthy lunchbox ideas for when the kids go back to school. Children spend one third of their day at school so their lunch box should include one third of their daily nutrient requirements. The lunch box is actually a great tool for setting up lifelong healthy eating habits so it’s really important that the packed foods be healthy and nutritious. Remember, every little bit counts and small steps can make a big difference down the track.
Listed below are some great suggestions to ensure your kids are getting the most out of their lunch box.
• Eating vegies through the day is the simplest way to reach the recommended number of 5 serves. Include at least two serves in the lunch box ie: salad at lunch and some carrot or cucumber sticks or cherry tomatoes as a snack. Remember to also include a serve of fresh fruit.
• Children need healthy snacks between main meals because they have small stomachs and require small amounts of food more frequently than adults.
• Kids need a serve of protein for slow release energy at lunch time so make sure you include lean meat, canned fish, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas or tofu.
• Make their lunch boxes really interesting and visually appealing by serving fruit and vegetables in different ways: chop a variety of fruits into small pieces, serve raw vegetable sticks with a yoghurt-based dip or add fruit and vegetables to your baking such as muffins or pikelets.
• Plant some vegetables or herbs at home for kids to pick and pack into their lunch box. They will love helping to grow their own food.
• It is ok to say “no” to requests for junk foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. Eating too many of these foods leads to health issues including obesity. They also displace the healthy options that kids need to provide nutrients to learn and play at school. Try these healthy swaps instead.
• Remember, parents are the main role models and kids will do as they see, so make sure you eat fruit and vegetables in front of your kids. If you don’t eat them, they won’t either.
Here are some great Back to School Healthy Lunchbox Ideas to start you off for next week.
Morning / After School smoothie
* 1 Banana
* Small handful of blueberries
* Small handful of Strawberries
* 1 Weetbix
* Tbsp desiccated coconut
* lowfat milk
* small handful of ice
Blend until smooth and serve.
* lean mince 250g
* 1 grated carrot
* ½ grated zucchini
* 1 egg
* wholemeal breadcrumbs (fresh is best)
* wholemeal roll
* reduced salt tomato sauce
* Low fat mayonnaise
Add mince, carrot and zucchini to a bowl. Add egg, salt & pepper and mix together. Add fresh breadcrumbs to thicken, and shape into 3 or 4 patties.
Assemble burger in the lunchbox
Brown Rice Salad
1 1/2 cups Brown Rice
1/2 diced Red Capsicum
4 thinly sliced Spring Onions
3/4 cup Currants
1/2 cup of Pepitas
1/2 cup of Sunflower Seeds
1/3 cup of Rice Bran Oil
1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp crush garlic
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook rice, drain & cool (don’t over cook – it needs to have a bit of crunch).
Combine all ingredients & dressing.
Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette
• 3 cups chickpeas, (drained and rinsed)
• 4 green onions, thinly sliced
• 2 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
• 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1 lime, juiced and zested
1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.
2. Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. It tastes better as it sits! Serve with toasted baguettes spread with coconut oil or whipped feta.
See the full recipe at https://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/06/the-simple-chickpea-salad-im-losing-my-mind-over/
425g can tuna in oil, drained & flaked
1 small red onion (100g) chopped finely
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
4 eggs beaten lightly
1 Tablespoon plain flour
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
S&P to taste
Combine tuna, onion, basil, eggs, flour, salt & pepper in a medium bowl.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan; drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture into the pan; cook fritters in batches until golden brown.
Serve in a sandwich with salad or create a breadless salad.
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