When it comes to packing our little ones lunchboxes, most of us are guilty of packing the same old combination day in and day out: a sandwich, some crisps, a little fruit and a drink. It’s hardly gourmet or worthy of a Michelin star, but it gets the job done. But rather than hurriedly shoving these staples together, why not invest a little more time and thought into your kids’ lunch while they are out of the house. Not only can the same old same old quickly become dull (encouraging your children to trade the healthier parts for others’ lunchbox contents), but it’s unlikely that your little ones are getting the most out of their food and this could have negative repercussions on their performance and concentration during the day’s activities. Here are a few ideas to mix things up a bit and ensure that your child’s lunchbox is both exciting and as healthy as possible.
If you happen to have a child who is more involved in extracurricular sports (perhaps they are a member of a school sports team or an independent club, such as dance or gymnastics), then you’re going to have to ensure that their energy levels are up for the duration of the practice or the class. But not to worry. There are plenty of snack ideas for your sporty kids out there.
You don’t necessarily have to get protein from meat. There are plenty of alternative protein sources out there that often prove much healthier in general, as they are lower in saturated fats than red meat. Protein can be found in nuts, mycoprotein products (the most popular brand tends to be Quorn), seitan, quinoa and buckwheat.
Energy has to come from somewhere, so make sure that your kids are stocked up with plenty of carbohydrates to burn. These can come from bread (as part of a sandwich), potatoes (perhaps in a potato salad), or cereals (easy to find in cereal bars).
There are good fats out there, and these will function as a backup supply for your little ones to burn during activities. They’re easy to find. The best options tend to be nuts (as long as your child has no allergies) and unsaturated oils or spreads.
The most common type of lunch box that you will pack is the daily packed lunch for your little one’s school dinner. Seeing as it is required every weekday, it’s not all too surprising that its contents will become pretty monotonous over time. But there are a few different ways to spruce things up a little while ensuring that it contains all the nutrients and vitamins essential for healthy development. Rather than packing a standard sandwich each day, why not occasionally swap the main part of the meal for sushi or hummus and vegetable sticks to dip (carrots, cucumber, or celery). Instead of crisps, why not try out vegetable crisps or pea crisps. Instead of sugar filled juices from concentrate, opt for water, natural juice or smoothies.
So, it’s time to start switching things up a little. Not only will your little one enjoy the variety, but their health will improve significantly over time.
*This is a collaborative post