Creating the perfect lunch box
On busy weekdays, making sure we’re prepared for a balanced, nutritious lunch everyday can be tricky. And, making sure we’re sending our little ones off armed with the ideal nutrition that actually gets eaten can be downright daunting! As we approach the start of a new school year, here are some of our handy hints for creating a healthy, delicious lunch box for the whole family:
Choose healthy, energy giving foods
Our midday meals are an important time to give our brain and body the fuel to power through the rest of the day. For essential nutrition, a balanced lunch should include a source of slow-burning low-GI carbohydrates (like whole grain bread or brown rice), a form of protein (like hard boiled eggs, cheese or yogurt) and some fresh fruit or vegetables.
Mix it up and make it pretty
Whether you're dealing with a family of fussy eaters, or kids who get bored quickly, changing up your lunch box offerings can make a huge difference to helping make sure it all gets eaten. We all tend to eat with our eyes, so make sure that food looks as good as it tastes! Thankfully, most of the unhealthy stuff is brown or pale in colour, so if you focus on packing a lunch box full of colour, chances are you're packing it full of fresh fruit and veggies.
Get clever to save time
One of our favourite family mottos is: Keep it simple! Take it easy on yourself by finding clever ways to save time and we guarantee you’ll avoid that tuck-shop line for much longer. Here are some of the ways we keep our lunch box prep down to a minimum.
Make a few lunch boxes at a time, so you’ve got two or three days ready in advance.
Use leftovers from dinner wherever you can! Use cold meats in sandwiches, wraps or salads. Those left over roast veggies make a great salad too, especially with a little greek yoghurt on top.
Hard boil a batch of eggs in advance. This is a great thing to do on a Sunday while you’re cooking dinner, giving you an easy delicious source of protein ready to pop into lunch boxes the whole week
At the store, grab a selection of healthy things you know will be easy to throw into a lunchbox - mandarins, cherry tomatoes, grapes, cheeses and yoghurts. Healthy muesli bars and slices are a fantastic grab-and-go option, too - like our Free and Naked bars, available now in the health food aisle at Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets.