Fuel for school

Fuel for school

Whether your babies are at daycare, kindy or school, back to school time is just around the corner, which means it's time to start thinking about what to pack your child for lunch.

We asked our team of Mater Health and Wellness dietitians to put together a quick and easy guide to what to put in your child's lunchbox. 

What can I put my child's school lunch in? 

Have plenty of small plastic containers, including a sandwich box, that can be reused and then you are doing your bit for the environment.

A cooler bag with an ice pack is ideal to be able to keep lunches fresh especially with our hot Queensland summers.

Buy a big drink bottle so your child has no excuse not to drink water.

What should each lunch include? 

  • dairy products (they contain calcium for healthy bones)

  • meats (for iron, helping concentration

  • fruit and vegetables (for a healthy mind and body

  • wholegrain breads (for long lasting energy).

These foods will give your child sustained energy that they need to be able to concentrate at school. If our children do not eat this variety with their school lunch then it can be difficult to fit it in at other meals.

Which foods make good snacks for lunchboxes?

Frozen low fat yoghurt tub or tube
Frozen low fat milk popper
Vegie sticks with hummus or avocado dip
Fruit, fresh or snack packs
Dry cereal pieces
Fruit loaf
Homemade pikelets, savoury scones
Crackers with peanut butter (check if the school has a no peanut policy!)
Mix nuts, seeds and dried fruit (check if the school has a no nut policy!)

Sandwiches get boring, what else is there for lunch?

Mini pizza
Pasta salad with pesto
Wrap with baked beans and grated cheese
Pita bread with chicken and coleslaw
Finger food lunch – mini quiche with vegie sticks, cheese with crackers and salad
Corn/tuna fritters

What about drinks? 

Juices, soft drinks and cordial contain sugars and acids that cause tooth decay and provide empty, unnecessary calories.

Tap water is cheaper, has fluoride for the teeth and is better for the environment than purchased bottled water.

When can my child pack their own lunch? 

Once school age, get your child to assist with packing their lunch to start off with as children don’t always know what food is best for them. 

This gives you the opportunity to guide them on how to include variety and appropriate foods and snacks.

Once again, please check the lunch policy at your school before packing lunch i.e. nut free, no packaged foods.

If you would like to find out more about school lunches, please book in to see a Mater Health and Wellness dietitian by phoning 07 3163 6000.

 

Caption: Image from www.taste.com.au 

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