So as the school term looms again, most of us are looking forward to getting back into some kind of routine in our lives! I for one really enjoyed the summer, the freedom in the longer evenings, less rushing in the mornings and more relaxed eating habits. However, I’m also looking forward to getting back into a proper exercise routine and cleaner eating as soon as schools are back!
Encouraging a good, nutritious diet in the home at a young age will most definitely help them to make healthier choices later in life, even if they wander off a bit during the teenage years.
Its important that we, as parents encourage a positive relationship with food as well.
Ask your child what they would like in their lunchbox if they are older or a bit picky, there’s no point wasting food if they are not going to eat it and be hungry for the day. Its better to compromise or offer something a little nicer on Friday if they eat their lunches every other day!
On that note, I’ve come up with a few suggestions on healthy school lunches. Ensuring a good protein breakfast before school will help with concentration and keep them feeling full until break time. And a veggie packed, well balanced main meal in the evening will provide plenty of essential nutrients. Start them young with a variety of foods and school lunches will be no trouble. Try to keep processed meats and tinned tuna to once a week… processed meats like cooked ham contain carcinogens and nitrates, while tuna is quite heavy in mercury and we dont want these substances to build up in our bodies causing harm.
I used to have an A4 sheet of paper on the fridge with loads of ideas if I was lacking inspiration or noticed the school lunches were becoming boring or too similar! It proved very handy over the years ?
Wholemeal pitta with tuna, 1tsp mayo, sweetcorn and cucumber.
Rainbow Pasta-wholegrain pasta with grated cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and yellow/red/green peppers. (Let the kids think of a diff veggie for each colour of the rainbow to add in!)
Pesto chicken wrap (perfect on Mondays after Sunday roast.. just spread some Bunalun organic pesto on the wrap and add some leftover chicken!) ?
Organic natural yogurt with fresh berry puree (place 2 tbsp yogurt into a little jar, puree a handful of strawberries/raspberries/blueberries or a mix of all and dollop on top. Kids love to mix uo their own yogurt in school and watch it change!)
Fresh fruit salad – pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, mango. (Apple and banana don’t work so well as they go brown unless you squeeze some lemon on top, but this will alter the flavour)
Cheddar cheese chunks with grapes and Nairns salted oat crackers. (Red cheese contains a food colouring called Annatto and while it can be a natural colouring it has been linked to behavioural issues, so stick with white cheese ?)
Nut free bliss balls (I’ll post a few recipes in the next post!)
Savoury pancake wraps with ham/chicken/turkey slices and salad. Make pancakes on Sunday morning and keep the leftovers to eat cold on Monday!
Hope these ideas help and inspire you with healthy back to school lunches ?