What a nutritionist really packs in her kids' lunchbox!
Dietitian and nutrionist, Susie Burrell, reveals what she really gives her kids every day - so they will eat it!
By Susie Burrell
Dietitian and nutrionist / July 16 2018
Getting a packed lunch right is always a challenge, even without worrying if your kids are trading their sandwiches for Tim Tams or sneakily getting their hands on sugary drinks.
A good starting point is to give them simple but tasty meals that strike a balance between good wholesome nutrition, and something tasty they will actually want to eat.
Susie's lunchbox winners!
- A piece of fruit, including light fruits such as mandarins, mini apples and a few berries;
- A serving of vegetables, including carrots, cucumber or capsicum sticks – veggies are just as important as including fruit in their lunchbox;
- A small ‘fun’ snack – I usually make homemade muffins or banana bread as a delicious, healthy snack;
- A wrap or sandwich – include plain fillings such as cheese, ham and turkey cut into small bite-sized pieces;
- Icy cold water – should be the main drink for all children, I send the kids to school with a Thermos FUNtainer water bottles, which keeps the water cold for up to 7 hours.
When it comes to treats in lunchboxes, I like to make homemade banana bread, cookies and muffins for the kids to enjoy – this way I am able to monitor unnecessary sugar intake. Otherwise, snacks such as muesli bars or wholegrain rice cakes are good too.
To find the right balance, the key is to ensure that there is always one child-friendly food in your little one's lunch box i.e. healthier packaged snacks or home-baked treats, to cut down sugar intake.
However, a mini chocolate bar, cake or potato chips once a week as a sweeter treat is good to teach children that eating sugar and processed foods should be controlled and eaten in moderation.
If you are concerned about your kids getting the right nutrition, especially in winter, then sending them off with a warm packed lunch, full of the right ingredients will put your mind at ease.