It’s getting to that time of year again, when all of the little ones head back to school after the summer holidays! There has been so much discussion over the last few years and decades about the quality of food available in schools. Positive steps have certainly been taken in making food in schools healthier and more accessible for those who have allergies, intolerances and preferences (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian). However, some parents are still sceptical about how well their children eat at school, and opt to make them packed lunches instead.
Packed lunches can be great, as you know exactly what they like and can make sure they are eating healthily. The problem is that packed lunches traditionally aren’t always the healthiest and most well-balanced of meals. The standard sandwich and crisps really doesn’t offer much by way of nutritional value or energy. So in today’s blog, I’d like to give you a few ideas on what to pack for your little ones’ packed lunches!
The great thing about a salad box is you can add whatever you like and there is always plenty of scope for adding healthy ingredients! So what should you put in yours?
Base: Use a complex carbs such as sweet potato, wholegrain-based products, pulses and root veg. These foods have a much slower energy release than standard carbs, so they will keep your child going for longer!
Leaves: Always add a few leaves to a salad; kale, spinach and lettuce are all packed full of goodness!
Protein: This doesn’t necessarily have to be meat! Why not put in a fillet of fresh fish, a tub of hummus or some organic eggs? Mix it up a bit and keep it interesting!
Toppings: One of the best ways to get the most out of a salad is the toppings. I love to add nuts and seeds to mine as they are packed full of natural proteins and antioxidants!
Dressing: Always make your own dressing! Store-bought dressings are usually full of sugar and salt, and as a result can ruin the nutritional benefits of a salad. There are plenty of delicious and healthy recipes out there, so give them a go.
Healthy Sandwich and Crisps
A lot of little ones are quite fussy, needless to say, so they might not want to have anything alternative for their lunch. Luckily though, a sandwich can be healthy and there are some great healthy alternatives to crisps!
Homemade tortilla crisps: Cut Wholemeal tortillas into wedges and bake them on 200 degrees until crispy! To make this a little bit more exciting, you could even add a little pot of homemade salsa and guacamole for dipping!
Sandwich: Using wholemeal wraps, pittas and flatbreads is a great way to mix it up a bit in the sandwich department! For toppings, don’t use cheap meats like sliced ham or chicken. Instead, use some healthier ingredients like tuna and sweet corn, cucumber, egg and cress and so on. Always add a little salad to these sandwiches as well, for that extra bit of nutrition and crunch!
A Healthier Lunch
The best thing to do is mix it up a bit and play to your audience! Some kids are a little fussy and may take some convincing on eating healthier lunches, but the benefits really are worth it. The suggestions listed above will give them the energy to get through the day, as well as the vitamins and nutrients which are essential to their development. If you’d like any more information on which foods are best for your little ones and how to ensure they are receiving all their essential daily nutritional requirements, get in touch. You can book yourself in for a free 30 minute discovery call today, where we can chat more about your questions and how best to proceed.