Good nutrition is vital for growing bodies and preparing a healthy school lunch box can be easier than you think. Take a look at our tips for food that’s quick, easy to prepare and nutritious.
A healthy lunchbox includes core foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, reduced fat dairy and lean protein foods. Including a frozen water bottle or small freezer brick in your child’s lunchbox can help it keep cool until lunch time.
- Fresh fruit is easy to pack, and you could also try a tub of canned fruit or chopped fresh strawberries, pineapple or melon.
- Raw veggies such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or capsicum strips are popular as a snack or in a sandwich.
- Experiment with a variety of grains, such as wholegrain, wholemeal or high fibre seeded rolls, Lebanese bread, pita, lavash, bagels, brown and white rice, or tricolour pasta.
- Include lean protein such as tuna or salmon (fresh or canned in spring water or oils such as canola, sunflower or olive oil), boiled eggs, baked beans; or lean meat such as beef or chicken.
- Nuts (depending on your school’s policy) and seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower, can provide healthy unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Reduced fat dairy is best for children aged 2 and over, so include reduced fat yoghurt, reduced fat cheese or reduced fat milk.
- Treats like chocolate or chips should only be included occasionally, not every day.
- Include nutritious snacks such as a small box or bag of dried fruit, rice cakes or unsalted and unsweetened popcorn.
- Don’t forget to include a bottle of water to keep your child hydrated all day. Freeze on hot days to keep the lunchbox nice and cool.
For further information
For general information on your child’s healthy weight, please contact Population Health at Southern NSW Local Health District. For specific child health advice, please contact the Central Intake Service on 1800 999 880 or SNSWLHD-CommunityIntake@health.nsw.gov.au