Are your kids bored with the same old sandwich? Nutritionist Brooke Longfield offers some great nourishing lunches.
Here are the five elements you need to pack a healthy lunchbox.
1. High-fibre wholegrain carbohydrates
For energy and brain power! While it’s important to choose high-fibre and wholegrain varieties, taste and texture are important, too. Try mixing it up by using wraps, flatbreads, pita pockets, grainy rolls and crispbreads.
Some meat, cheese, canned fish or other protein helps with sustained satisfaction. Protein-rich food also has important essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron and omega-3 fats.
3. Vegetables and fruit
These essential components of a healthy lunchbox provide filling fibre and important vitamins and minerals without adding too many kilojoules.
Healthy mid-morning and afternoon snacks boost energy and brain power. Ideal snacks for kids include fresh fruit or reduced-fat dairy.
Water is always the best choice. ‘Dress’ water up with a snazzy drink bottle, try adding a dash of cordial and slowly reduce the amount of cordial you add. Or try a small no-added-sugar fruit juice or a fruit and vege juice blend occasionally.
Perfect for little (and not-so-little!) hands, these filling wraps are tasty and satisfying.
Wholemeal mountain bread with flavoured tuna, avocado, grated carrot, cucumber ribbons and lettuce
Rye mountain bread with shaved lean chicken, avocado, cranberry sauce and baby spinach
Wholemeal tortilla with shredded chicken breast, avocado, reduced-fat mayo, grated carrot and lettuce
Wholemeal tortilla with leftover taco mince, grated carrot, grated reduced-fat cheese, diced tomato and lettuce
Multigrain wrap with hummus, roughly mashed four-bean mix, tomato and baby spinach
Peel thin ribbons of colourful veges with a vege peeler and layer them onto sandwiches.
Wholemeal bread with grated reduced-fat cheese, carrot, cucumber and lettuce
Multigrain roll with shredded cooked chicken breast, baby spinach, tomato, cucumber and sweet-chilli sauce
Multigrain bread with shaved ham (off the bone), tomato, reduced-fat cheese and lettuce
Wholemeal sourdough roll with diced cooked chicken breast, reduced-fat mayo and shredded lettuce
Wholemeal bread with 2 mashed boiled eggs, reduced-fat mayo, lettuce and a pinch of curry powder
Mix up the everyday lunch routine with leftovers and healthy baked goods made in advance.
Pasta salad: cooked pasta spirals, shredded cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, baby spinach and sweet-chilli sauce
Wholemeal pita pocket filled with leftover meatballs, grated reduced-fat cheese, grated carrot, lettuce and tomato salsa