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Lovely Lunchboxes

A balanced diet is about eating lots of different foods to get the nutrients you need, and it’s hard to get that variety into children’s lunchboxes – it might seem so much easier to stick with the same ham sandwich, crisps and a biscuit every day.

So, if you’re going down the packed lunch route for your child, be prepared to put in a bit of time and effort – it’ll pay off in spades for their nutrition. Or continue/switch to nursery meals: we already have to meet tough standards for nutrition, so you’ll know your child’s eating from a healthy menu. For a copy of our menu ask at the office.

Little girl leaning on the table with a bowl of vegetables - isolated

 

Try our recipes for great lunchboxes below.

Monday

  • Banana sandwich with wholemeal bread
  • Tomato
  • Boiled egg
  • Low-fat fruit yoghurt
  • Small box of raisins
  • Semi-skimmed milk

Tuesday

  • Tuna and sweetcorn wholemeal roll
  • Reduced-fat cheese triangle
  • Satsuma
  • Semi-skimmed milk

Wednesday 

  • Pasta and sausage salad (with spring onion and red pepper)
  • Stewed apple and blackberry with crumble top
  • Reduced-fat natural yoghurt
  • Bottle of water

Thursday

  • Edam cheese, ham and lettuce pitta pocket
  • Tomato
  • Small flapjack
  • Nectarine
  • Reduced-fat yoghurt drink

Friday 

  • Houmous, red pepper and grated carrot wrap
  • Grapes
  • Creamed rice pot
  • Slices of malt loaf
  • Bottle of water

If you want to add extras, sticks of carrot or pepper often work well, as do pieces of chopped fruit. Children are much more likely to eat fruit and veg if it’s in bite-sized pieces, and if they don’t have to peel it themselves.

All children have different appetites and these will vary as they grow and develop. You‘ll need to adjust the portion sizes of these recipes appropriately to suit your child’s appetite.

Children have access to drinking water throughout the day at nursery but if you want to add any other drinks to their lunchbox, go for low fat milk, or 100% fruit juice.

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A balanced packed lunch should contain:

  • Starchy foods. These are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, and others.
  • Protein foods. These are meat, fish, eggs, beans and others.
  • A dairy item. This could be cheese or yoghurt.
  • Vegetables or salad, and a portion of fruit.

Starchy foods are a good source of energy, and should make up a third of the lunchbox. But don’t let things get boring. Instead of sandwiches give kids bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or seeded bread, not white bread.

Children often like food they can eat with their fingers, so chop up raw veggies such as carrots or peppers, and give houmous or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in. Breadsticks and wholemeal crackers are great finger foods and they can be spread with low-fat soft cheese or eaten with reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.

Vary the fruit each day and get them to try new things, like kiwi or melon.

All information has been provided by The Children’s Food Trust. To find out more about the suggested recipes and exciting new recipes contact: www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk  For more information about healthy lunch boxes can also be found at: www.nhs.uk/change4life.co.uk and to get sugar smart for your children’s health follow:     www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/campaigns/sugar-smart/home

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