Good Nutrition for Kids
Lunch Box & Snack Ideas
Busy kids need a healthy school lunch to boost their energy and help them
concentrate and learn in the afternoon.
With our top lunch box tips and a 5-day lunch box meal plan, you’ll find packing a healthy lunch to nourish your kids a breeze!
Ensure you include a range of fresh fruit and vegetables and vary the food daily so kids don’t become bored.
Top tips for a healthy lunch box
• Always include fresh fruit and vegetables. Vary the selection to keep it interesting.
• Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads.
• Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
• Use reduced fat dairy foods. Cheese and yoghurt are ideal.
• Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime. Ensure you include lean meat, chickpeas or tuna.
• Add a chilled bottle of water.
Keep it fresh – packing the lunchbox It’s important to keep food in the lunch box cold to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Helpful tips for adding fresh fruit and vegetables to lunch boxes
• Kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat. Fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins.
• Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavour, colour and texture.
• Freeze fruits in the summer. Simply pop the frozen fruit into a small sealable plastic bag or airtight container.
• If including whole fruit in the lunchbox, select fruit that is a suitable size for a child to easily hold in their hand and eat (this is particularly important for younger children).
• Peel and slice or cut fruit if possible and choose seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and mandarins.
• If you’re added tomato to sandwiches, place the tomato between fillings and not directly onto the bread. This prevents the bread becoming soggy.
• When using avocado, mash or drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.
• Mild tasting and crunchy lettuce varieties like Iceberg and Oak leaf and Lebanese cucumbers are ideal for kids.
• Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings. Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.
• Make salads or salad sandwich fillings interesting by using a range of vegetables like grated carrot, snow pea sprouts, lettuce or rocket or baby spinach, sliced celery, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber.
• Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.
QUICK RECESS, LUNCH AND SNACK IDEAS
Crunchy Veggie & Beef Noodle Salad
Combine 1 cup of cooked hokkien noodles with ½ cup sliced cold beef, steak, roast lamb or pork. Add ¼ diced red capsicum, ½ stick chopped celery, ½ small diced Lebanese cucumber, 4 halved cherry tomatoes and 4 sliced snow peas. Drizzle with Teriyaki sauce and toss to combine.
Serve salad in a lunch box with a small bunch of seedless grapes.
Tasty Chicken & Veggie Bun
Spread a halved bread roll with reduced fat mayonnaise. Top the base with an Iceberg or Green Oak lettuce leaf, a slice of reduced fat tasty cheese, a few slices of tomato and a cooked chicken schnitzel. Top with another lettuce leaf and remaining roll. Wrap and pack.
Serve with seasonal fruit.
Crunchy Lettuce, Bean & Avocado Tortilla Wrap
Warm ¼ cup refried beans in a small heat proof bowl in the microwave. Spoon mixture onto tortilla wrap. Dress with ¼ cup reduced fat grated tasty cheese and an Iceberg lettuce leaf. Finish with ¼ sliced avocado (brushed with lemon juice). Roll up tortilla in greaseproof paper or plastic wrap. Cut in half, wrap and pack. Serve wrap with orange wedges and a small bunch of seedless grapes.
Veggie Sticks, Chicken Drumettes & Hummus
Pack 2 cooked soy chicken drumettes, (or alternatively use chicken drumsticks), with carrot and celery sticks. Accompany with some reduced fat hummus, a small wholegrain bread roll and an apple.
Crunchy Carrot, Chicken & Sultana Salad
Toss 1 cup shredded carrot* with ½ cup shredded cooked chicken and 2tbs sultanas. Combine juice of 1 orange with 2tsp honey and drizzle over salad. Toss to combine. Serve with rice crackers. *Speedy shredders are available from Asian grocers.
Roast Pumpkin, Ham & Tomato Pizza
Lightly spread tomato paste over an individual serve pizza base. Top with 2 slices of chopped shaved ham, a few pieces of roasted butternut pumpkin and 2 halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with 2tbs grated reduced fat Mozzarella cheese. Bake pizza at 220°C for 10 minutes. Pack in a chilled lunch box with a pear or apple and a few strawberries.
Avocado, Cucumber & Ham ‘Sushi’ Sandwiches
Spread a tortilla wrap with 2tsp of cranberry sauce. Mash ¼ avocado with a drizzle of lemon juice then spoon along centre of wrap. Top with seeded Lebanese cucumber sticks and 2-3 slices of shaved ham. Roll up tightly, trim ends and cut into 2cm thick slices. Team with an apple.
Fruit sticks with Yoghurt
Thread hulled strawberries, peeled and chopped rockmelon, seedless watermelon pieces and pineapple onto paddle-pop sticks.
Serve with a small tub of reduced fat vanilla yoghurt.
Banana, Honey & Cream Cheese Pikelets
Mix 1tsp honey with 2tbs reduced fat cream cheese. Spread cheese over 2 readymade pikelets. Top with a small sliced banana* and sprinkle with a few dried cranberries or sultanas. Layer over another pikelet. Wrap and pack. *Brush banana with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Citrus & Berry Fruit Salad with Yoghurt
Combine 1 peeled chopped orange with some mandarin segments, a scattering of blueberries and 3 small hulled strawberries. Swirl through passion fruit pulp and serve with a small tub of reduced fat vanilla yoghurt.
Spread rice cakes with reduced fat cream cheese.
It’s well known that kids are eating too much ‘junk’ food. Give sugary and fatty ‘junk’ foods the flick with these simple yet nutritious snack ideas.
For more healthy recipe ideas visit www.freshforkids.com.au