How to Pack a Nutritious Lunch Box

Nutrients that are required for bone growth and development are crucial, so aim to add a portion of calcium to your child’s lunch box. Try out non-dairy sources of calcium such as canned salmon or sardines, hummus made with white beans, chopped orange pieces or sesame seeds.

The problem with fruit is that it can bruise easily and quickly look unappetising. Try adding fruit that will still look delicious after being carried in a lunch box on the school run and after being thrown around in the playground. Satsumas, a small pot of berries or grapes, chopped pear or a plum are all good options. And you can try wrapping fruit in a piece of kitchen roll and securing with a band to protect it.

Cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, pepper sticks, cucumber slices, radishes, celery sticks can all be easily added to a lunch box.

Water is the perfect drink for a lunch box. Diluted fruit juice, a carton of milk or a home-made smoothie can also be a great addition. But watch out for sugary drinks or branded cartons as well as little fruit juice cartons which can contain 4.6 teaspoons of sugar.

There are so many branded products for your child’s lunch box that are easily accessible in supermarkets and usually heavily branded with cartoon characters, rewards and prizes to make them as attractive as possible to children.

Unfortunately many of these are highly processed, containing limited nutrients, high levels of sugar and/or salt as well as artificial preservatives, colourings and sweeteners. These are best avoided. An online shop can prevent pester power.

Most children’s lunch boxes are insulated but think about adding in a little freezer pouch to keep the food nice and fresh. Remember, lunch boxes are usually stacked in the classroom until lunchtime and are not kept in the fridge.

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