Coming up with innovative, interesting and healthy school lunch ideas day in and day out tests most of us.
Is it a daily chore trying to think up new ways to make school lunches look appetizing and appealing so that the food doesn’t end up in the trash, traded for something better or simply left in the lunch box?
If this is you then hopefully these school lunch ideas will provide some inspiration.
As well as looking interesting and tasting delicious, a healthy lunch should go a long way towards meeting our recommended daily dietary requirements. For children this is:
If you are wondering what to pack for lunch think of the major food groups and try to include something from each:
One serve equals 1 cup milk, 1 tub yogurt, 1 cup custard, 2 slices of cheese.
One serve is 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear, 2 plums, apricots or kiwifruit, 1 cup of fruit salad or canned fruit, 2 tablespoons sultanas or 4 dried apricot halves.
1 serve is equal to one slice of bread, ½ bread roll, ¼ cup cooked rice, ½ cup cooked pasta or noodles.
1 serve equals 2 slices of roast meat, 120 g / 4 oz can tuna or salmon, 1 small chicken breast, 2 – 3 chicken drumsticks or 2 eggs.
For non meat meals this equals ½ cup cooked or canned beans, lentils or split peas or 1 small can of baked beans.
1 serve equals ½ cup of cooked vegetables, 1 small carrot, 1 tomato or 1 cup salad leaves.
So, with the above recommendations in mind, here are some fabulous lunch box ideas:
Tub of yogurt (try freezing it, it will be thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime)
To tempt picky eaters try packing food that is fun and colorful.
Food should be easy to eat and age appropriate. Finger foods are ideal for younger children. Older children are more able to manage salads.
Children have small stomachs and need frequent snacks, so always pack a mid-morning snack separate from lunch.
Pack food you know your child will eat. If you introduce new food chances are it will return home again. The time for introducing new food is at home.
Keep portions child-sized. Packing too much will either result in over-eating or the food being wasted.
Ensure food is easy to unwrap and containers are easy to open for little fingers.
A lunchbox with compartments will keep foods separate and stop them from spoiling or becoming soggy.
Aim for variety. Try to vary the food from day to day.
The kids arrive home from school ravenously hungry looking for food. What do you feed them? Here are some ideas for after school snacks.
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