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Canberra
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Back to school: lunch boxes

Kids, it’s back to school already! And for parents, that means the great lunch box debate returns.

Gone are the days when we would put a jam sandwich and a muffin in the kids’ school bags and off they went. Now we need to give smart and healthy lunchbox options to our kids, and with all the information out there it can be difficult to navigate!

There are awesome ways to prepare food and kids really enjoy the smart combinations, different styles and flavors of foods. With such diverse and cultural influences when it comes to food options, kids’ taste buds should always be bursting with joy.

If kids don’t like salad or fruit, don’t just pack it in their lunch box and tell them to eat it – because they will just find the first bin and in it goes. I try to pack smarter, mixing it up with things like a corn pancake or a mixed fruit salad. I always say you cannot beat fresh fruit and snacks of vegies with avocado or hummus.

When kids eat healthier foods, they are healthier, and the more movement or exercise they do, the healthier they become. Remember – the human body is the greatest machine ever created so it’s important to give it the best fuel we can.

Healthy bites

  • Protein packed super-green frittata
  • Wraps – a great way to mix it up from a sandwich
  • Wholegrain breads instead of white  
  • Lots of ‘little bits’, such as a four-fruit salad
  • Carrots and celery cut into sticks
  • Crackers and avocado dip  
  • Small meatballs with hummus or tzatziki
  • Cherry tomatoes with cheese
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Fruit jelly
  • Cold roast meats – it makes lunch like a picnic!
  • Water with every meal

In season

Seasonal fruits are great, you can also use them to teach the kids about vitamins and minerals and how the body responds to food. These are a few of my favourites:

  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Tangerines (in season now)
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges (in season now)
  • Plums
  • Pears

The list goes on, so find a few that the kids like best and pack these for them to eat.

One last tip: Get the kids into having porridge for breakfast, this will set them up for a great day and provide lots of energy as the day goes on. Remember – fresh, light and lots of flavour. The kids will love it!

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Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts