Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back to School Lunchbox

We are all time poor these days and mornings are the worst when kids are back at school. An easy way to plan for the school week lunchbox is to prepare in advance. Using five snap-lock bags (one for each day) per child; fill them with fruit, health bars, yoghurt and pro-biotic milk and place in the fridge. Each morning, just simply make a healthy sandwich; grab a bottle of iced water and with the bag of snacks, into the lunchbox they go.

Variation of flavour and new tastes are essential to developing a child’s interest in food and nutrition. Kids may prefer white bread but if you have their health in mind, whole-grain seed bread is more nutritious. To keep it interesting, vary between sandwiches, rolls, pita bread and flat breads. Instead of butter or margarine, try spreadable cream cheese or avocado. Add plenty of salad items to the sandwich, and to avoid sogginess, drain watery items (sliced tomatoes) first on absorbent paper before adding. Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime so ensure you include lean meat, egg, peanut butter, chickpeas. Add some brain food of high omega fish such as tuna at least one day a week.

Small snack items are popular so consider a pot of low-fat, low-sugar yoghurt, cheese, nuts, or pro-biotic milk. Use small containers for dips with vegetable sticks (celery, carrot, cucumber). Try frozen Edaname (soya beans in pods) for a highly nutritious snack. Fruit can be varied each day with our local rambutans, lychees, jaboticaba, longons, or half a diamond scored mango wrapped in plastic. On the weekend, get the kids to make their own snack bars and biscuits that are healthier and less expensive than those in the shops.

Juice is high in sugar so instead, add an iced bottle of water that will last throughout the day and keep the lunchbox chilled. On these hot days, kids will not miss the sugary drinks.

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