The kids have been back at school for quite a few weeks now and hopefully you have re-established a comfortable rhythm with your morning routine. Mornings can be very busy when you have school aged children! Let’s make school lunch a little easier in the morning…
How are you going with the school lunch boxes?
I know this can be an area where parents often struggle but it really is worth making a little extra effort to send your children out with a healthy nutritious school lunch box each day, and it need not be complicated or time consuming.
The food our children eat has a profound effect on their mood, behavior and ability to concentrate and learn.
Here are 5 easy steps for a super school lunch box:
- Include 1 Fruit: Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that slow the delivery of sugars into the blood stream. This is important to avoid the glucose spike then crash that results from eating highly processed sugary foods.
- Include Vegetables: pack at least 2. Putting vegies in the lunchbox can help remove the pressure to get all your child’s daily vegetables in at dinner time. There is a whole crunchy rainbow to choose from - green, yellow, red. Chop into sticks (e.g. carrot sticks) for easy eating. They don’t get much time to eat at school these days!
- Add a high protein food for recess and lunch: Protein is needed for growth and development. Kids have a lot of growing to do. Good choices include hummus, chickpea patties, cheese, egg based foods such as frittata and tuna with cream cheese
- Whole grains: These provide a long lasting energy source. Try bread, wraps, crackers and flat breads. “White” varieties will always be more processed and less nutritious so use whole grain products when you can. A good way to gradually switch fussy white bread eaters over to whole grains breads is to make half-and-half sandwiches with 1 slice of white and 1 slice of whole meal. It worked for my kids!
- Include a healthy “treat”: Many kids have lunch boxes filled with the latest shiny packets of processed snacks and these are usually not a healthy option. They usually have very high sugar content and many artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. So your kids don’t feel they are missing out include a small homemade treat such as homemade muffins made with almond meal, bliss balls or their favorite homemade muesli bar.
Below is one of my favorite recipes:
Yummy Seed Bars
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Line tray with baking paper – (20 x 20 cm)
- Mix oats, seeds, chia and coconut in a bowl.
- To a small saucepan add coconut oil, honey and vanilla and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
- Add liquid to the oats and seed mix and stir until well combined.
- Press firmly into your prepared tin 20cm x 20cm tin.
- Place in pre-heated oven and bake for approx. 15 mins until starting lightly brown.
- Remove from oven and cool in tray.
- When completely cool, cut up into 12 bars and then store in an airtight container.
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