We’re barely a week into the new term at school, and yet it might already feel like you’ve been filling lunchboxes for months!
I recently heard Pollyanna Hale from the Fitmum Formula on Sky News, talking about school lunchboxes and how they need to be radically improved. You can listen to the interview here. With some children’s lunchboxes containing more sugar than they should be consuming in an entire day, Pollyanna talks about how healthy lunches for your kids don’t need to be complicated. Nor, does she try to convince the listeners that their children should be eating lentil and spinach salad.
In this week’s blog, I wanted to share with you some healthy lunch box tips and ideas from the Frog Hollow kitchen.
- Bread isn’t the enemy – The humble sandwich has always been a lunchbox staple. These days, bread often has an undeserved bad reputation. Any growing kid needs starchy foods for fuel and energy. And whole grain bread is a fantastic food for this. That said, do think about the fillings you use. Sugary jams and chocolate spreads are not the best choices. But a protein filled sandwich is. Tuna, ham and cheese are all good fillings. If you really want to avoid bread, then don’t desert the all-important tummy fillers altogether. A carbohydrate-rich pasta or rice salad will also fuel your child for the afternoon ahead.
- Five a day fever – I always try to pack at least two or three of Olivia’s five a day in her school lunch box. Rather than packing a whole piece of fruit, you may find your littlies prefers a few berries or a mandarin that has been peeled and segmented. If you get caught out and have little fresh fruit in the house, you could combine a variety of dried fruit and seeds, into a homemade healthy trail mix.
- Going crazy for calcium – There are some straightforward ways to support your child’s growing bones with a healthy lunch box. Cubed mild cheddar cheese (not processed cheese) is a firm lunchbox favourite and yoghurts, or fromage frais are an obvious choice. But if your child doesn’t eat dairy consider some hummus and broccoli spears, (both are rich in calcium).
- Something sweet – A sweet treat doesn’t have to be sugar-laden. If you can batch cook flapjacks or shortbread it’s easy to keep a check on the sugar content; it’s not so easy if you’re buying pre-packaged or processed sweet treats. Frog Hollow energy bites make a perfect sweet treat, but with many schools being nut free zones, you may find it easier to save these for a sweet treat at the end of the day. I always take a few energy bites with me when I collect Olivia from school. She’s always hungry when she comes out, and two or three bites are all she needs to fill the gap between school pick-up and supper! Our new No Added Sugar Energy Bites Pack, contains four favourite flavours.