Nutritionist Fiona Hunter lifts the lid on what you need to put in your lunchbox to make it a healthy lunchbox and well-balanced. She has also put together a healthy menu planner for the week.
Since Jamie Oliver highlighted the shortcomings of school meals, many mums with school aged children have decided to forgo school meals in favour of a packed lunch. But are packed lunches really a healthier alternative? How do we know if we are packing a healthy lunchbox for our kids?
In a recent survey carried out by the Food Standards Agency three quarters of all lunchboxes they analysed failed to meet healthily eating recommendations. Many contained double the recommended lunchtime intake of saturated fat and sugar and up to half the recommended daily intake of salt.
What key ingredients do I need to make a healthy lunchbox?
Nutritionist Fiona Hunter, commissioned by Nairn’s Oatcakes, has come up below with a list of the 5 main components that a healthy lunchbox should have:
- Starchy carbohydrate to provide energy, dietary fibre, B vitamins and minerals
- Fruit and vegetables – a packed lunch should aim to provide 2 of the 5 a day
- One portion from protein group – for energy, growth, repair of tissues
- One portion from dairy group – to help build strong bones
- A drink – ideally water. A lack of fluids can affect behaviour and ability to concentrate
- Treats – try and keep these as a treat! Not an every day thing!
Why not check out our week long lunchbox planner for some quick and easy ideas to pack a healthy lunchbox. You can even start playing it as a kind of game with your kids called “Lunchbox Bingo”!
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The Lunchbox Lady x