Now the kids are back at school, the challenge to provide tasty, nutritious lunchboxes has started! Consider colour and balance; colour from a variety of vegetables and fruit, and balance from a mix of macro nutrients (carbohydrates/proteins/fats/water) and micro nutrients (vitamins/minerals/plant nutrients).
Some kids like to build their own lunch and don’t enjoy having too many flavours mixed together. So try a lunch box with a number of separate sections to create a ‘bento-style’ lunchbox. Always include water, vegetables, wholegrains, protein in the form of tinned fish, cooked chicken, cheese, beans (such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans) and fruit
Fajita box – 1 small wholewheat wrap on the side with different sections containing chicken tenderloins, 1/3 cup tinned corn (rinsed and drained), 1 small carrot grated, ¼ sliced or mashed avocado and 4 cubes of full fat tasty cheese (or grated). Add a small spoon to help spread the avocado on the wrap and add the chicken and veg or can all be eaten separately. Add a serve of seasonal fruit such as 1 small peach or nectarine, a few strawberries, 1 small apple (mix sliced apple with lemon or pineapple juice to avoid browning).
Dip box – small container with ½ cup of hommus, and in lunchbox sections, sliced veggies and fruit sticks for dipping (carrot, celery, fennel, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, apple, pear), 2 large crackers (rice cakes or Ryvita) or 8-10 small rice crackers or natural/plain corn chips . Add a small bocconcini cheese.
‘Sushi’ box – instead of rice, make small sushi rolls by rolling a wholewheat wrap with drained tinned, tuna, avocado and cucumber. Cut into small rolls. Add a few frozen edamame beans (they will be defrosted by recess) and sliced fruit or whole berries and grapes.