The Perfect Packed Lunch
The Perfect Packed Lunch
We all want to give our kids the perfect packed lunch; but just how easy is it to provide a model like this every day, if we’re juggling work and other kids?
I’ve just seen an article about a school in Lancashire whose headmaster has decided to ban packed lunches for 4-7 year old students from September.
At first I questioned whether it’s fair for someone else to dictate how we feed our kids, but I’m not entirely sure where I stand.
The school had had a visit from the Children’s Food Agency Trust. They studied pupils’ packed lunches and concluded that less than 1% contained enough nutrition for the children.
Here’s a link to the original story in case you want to know more about it.
As you’d expect there’s been some backlash from parents who argue that packed lunches are a necessity for children with allergies.
Netmums.com parents have remarked that most school dinners don’t provide enough nutrition for the kids either but I’m not sure how much truth there is in that suggestion.
Either way, it got me to thinking about what should go in a perfect lunchbox so I’ve put together 5 elements of a balanced diet for your child:
1. Protein (for helping the body grow)
Meat, fish, beans and eggs are great for keeping the immune system strong. They also help to build and repair muscles to help your child grow!
2. Starchy foods (for energy)
Things like rice, potatoes, bread and pasta are starchy foods and great sources of carbohydrate. Go for wholegrain and wholemeal versions a higher fibre content.
3. Vegetables/salad (for vitamins and minerals)
Kids like to eat with their fingers so giving them carrot sticks and a little pt of humous might be the way to encourage them to give vegetables a go.
4. Fruit (for vitamins and minerals)
If your child avoids a whole apple or banana like the plague, try making a fruit salad and put that in instead. You might find that they are more inclined to eat fruit when it doesn’t look so big.
5. Something dairy (for calcium and for boosting protein)
Dairy foods like cheese and yoghurt will help children grow. Make sure you check the fat content of dairy foods; you don’t want to overdo it!
Don’t forget to mix things up a bit as well; we all get bored of the same food over and over. Swap sandwiches for bagels or wraps and choose different sources of protein to keep them interested.
About Sue: I’m really lucky, I’m a photographer who works with children and babies – I capture that fleeting phase for parents so they have those memories forever.