How to make a nutritionally approved lunch box
Packing a lunch box with healthy and tasty food – that actually gets eaten – is every parent’s mission. To take the guesswork out of it, take a look at Woolworth’s Fresh Food Kids recipes for plenty of tried-and-tested nutritionally approved ideas.
They work with their team of nutritionists to develop a range of delicious lunch-box recipe ideas, ensuring they contain healthy foods from the five food groups. Here’s a guide to packing a healthy lunch box.*
*The serve size recommendations are a guide not a hard and fast rule. E.g. active kids may require additional serves from food groups like grains, protein and fruit.
VEGETABLES (2-3 SERVES)
Aiming to include two to three serves of vegetables in your child’s lunch box is not as hard as it seems. You can get one serve just by including a medium-sized tomato or one cup of baby spinach.
This cricket wicket tuna & cheese sandwich with snacks already contains two serves of vegies. To boost the amount of vegies in your child’s lunch box, try adding extra vegies into sandwiches, wraps and veg sushi. You can also transform vegies into fun snacks, such as these crispy carrot ribbons or change the texture entirely by making dips.
PROTEIN (1-2 SERVES)
Meat, fish and dairy are all sources of protein, but so too are tofu, lentils and beans. One serve of protein foods is equivalent to two hard-boiled eggs, one cup (150g) legumes, two slices (40g) cheese or one cup of milk.
For variety, you can even spread protein serves across multiple food items, such as this smashed egg and vegie wrap served with cheese cubes as a snack.
WHOLE GRAINS (1-2 SERVES)
One serve of whole grains is equivalent to a slice of whole grain or wholemeal bread, 30g oats, or ½ cup cooked wholemeal pasta or brown rice.
This salmon & pasta salad, which has two serves of whole grains, is a great option to pack into lunch boxes. To better understand what your kids prefer, include different types of whole grains in their lunch boxes and ask for feedback. For example, alternate between including pasta, rice, couscous, bread and wraps.
FRUIT (1 SERVE)
Most kids love fruit because of its sweetness, making it easy to meet the recommended serve. One serve is equivalent to a medium-sized piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple, banana or orange, or one cup of fresh berries or chopped fresh fruit.
To keep things interesting, offer fresh fruit to your kids in a variety of ways. For example, instead of packing a whole banana, chopped apples or peeled orange segments into lunch boxes, include a sunrise smoothie in a water bottle or bake fresh fruit into treats, such as these banana & green muffins. To broaden your child’s palate, include a variety of fresh fruits from all the colours of the rainbow.
For more nutritionally approved lunch box recipe ideas, click here.