Packing A Healthy Lunch Box For Kids

Even without packaged foods, packing nutritious lunchboxes that your kids will eat may be straightforward and convenient.

We’ll look at why lunchboxes are so important and how easy they may be to pack in this post.

Every school term in Australia is around 50 days long, and each school year is approximately 200 days long. That’s a lot of lunchboxes to bring! Then multiply 200 days by the number of kids you have, and you’ve got a lot of lunchboxes to pack.

Packing lunchboxes is a chore for many parents. Lunchboxes are simply another item on the never-ending to-do list of family life management. But what if we shifted our perspective on lunchboxes? What if, rather than seeing lunchboxes as a bother, we saw them as a gift to our children?

They’re a gift since the food we provide for their lunch will fuel their bodies and minds while aiding their study. Of course, the quality of the items we carry in their lunchbox plays a significant role in this.

Fortunately, I devised a technique for packing nutritious lunchboxes in about 5 minutes each day. Now I see every school day as an opportunity to prepare a lunchbox that benefits my children. This is why I’m giving my free printable template for “5 Steps To Packing A Healthy Lunchbox” (below). I’ve also included some lunchbox ideas for you to consider. Remember to print this template and post it on the refrigerator – it may be a helpful tool for you, but it also makes it simple for your children to help prepare their lunchboxes.

I want to express my gratitude to Nutritionist Jo Atkinson, who worked with me on this template to ensure that it stayed simple while meeting the requirements of a nutritionally balanced lunchbox.

Why Are School Lunchboxes So Important?

Packing A Healthy Lunch Box For Kids

For many youngsters, lunchbox food accounts for 30-40% of their daily calorie intake from Monday to Friday. As a result, lunchboxes account for a large portion of a child’s daily calorie consumption.

Our children are all maturing. They require a nutrient-dense diet that promotes their growth and development. In addition, they need nourishment to improve their focus and learning abilities.

School is where a child’s growth, development, and learning take place — after all, that’s why we send them there, right? As a result, it’s understandable that their lunchbox food is vital.

Unfortunately, many lunchboxes include packaged processed meals that do nothing to feed the bodies and minds of our children.

In my book The Lunchbox Effect, I described how a typical lunchbox looks statistically:

  • 88% of pupils bring their meals from home.
  • 2% of people skipped lunch.
  • The rest of the group purchased part or all of their meal from the canteen.
  • Two meal packets per lunchbox
  • One piece of fruit per lunchbox
  • 4 servings of veggies per lunchbox
  • A sandwich is found in 70% of the cases.
  • White bread was used in 73% of the sandwiches.
  • A spread such as Vegemite, honey, or jam was found in 50% of the sandwiches.
  • We were able to establish what an average lunchbox included based on data collected from over 6,000 lunchboxes across 343 classes:
  • Ingredients: 29
  • 6 teaspoons sugar (Wow, that’s a lot of sugar.) According to the World Health Organization’s recommendations, this is roughly what they should have throughout the day.)
  • 148 milligrams sodium
  • There are nine additives in all, four of which have been related to hyperactivity, learning difficulties, and behavioral disorders.
  • Chips account for 20% of package foods, muesli and other types of bars for 17%, savory crackers for 15%, sweet biscuits for 15%, chocolate and lollies for 10%, juices and flavored milk for 10%, yogurts and other pouches for 8%, and fruit or jelly cups for 8%.
  • These packet meals’ marketing claims that they are convenient, and some even say they are fantastic or perfect for lunchboxes. Are they, however, genuine? Doesn’t this expense outweigh the convenience if it can negatively impair behavior, focus, learning, socialization skills, and even health?
  • Even without packaged meals, packing nutritious lunchboxes may be straightforward and convenient. To help you prepare healthy lunchboxes, follow these five steps.

How to Pack a Healthy Lunchbox in 5 Easy Steps

Packing A Healthy Lunch Box For Kids

1. Pack A Fruit

Fruit is the epitome of simplicity and convenience. It comes in its packaging, which has the extra benefit of being environmentally friendly.

Ask your kids what fruit they’d want in their lunchbox to get them engaged. Request that your children select one or two varieties of fruit for the week and then purchase them on the weekend. In this manner, the fruit may be rotated every day, giving them variety.

2. Include at least one vegetable

It’s back to being simple. Request that your children select at least one vegetable and then purchase it over the weekend. Then put it in your lunchbox. If you serve veggies with a dip, you may have a better chance of getting them to eat them. If you want to spend some time on the weekend preparing them, you may chop them into bite-sized pieces. Spending a few minutes on the weekend to prepare might save you time during the week when things are more stressful.

3. A Great Main Lunch

Our lunchbox survey found that 70% of lunchboxes had a sandwich but that most of these sandwiches were nutritionally deficient. However, if you pack a delicious sandwich, it’s pretty likely that this sandwich will not only support your child’s body and brain but will also keep them satisfied, reducing the need for snacks.

The following ingredients should be included in an excellent sandwich:

  • ideally a whole grain or sourdough bread
  • a high-quality protein source such as roast chicken or turkey (not deli meat), beef, tofu, beans, or other legumes
  • Real butter, avocado, whole egg mayonnaise, or hummus are all excellent sources of healthy fats.
  • You may learn more about what constitutes a healthy sandwich by clicking here.

If your kid is unable to eat sandwiches or prefers not to, the following would make a terrific main lunch:

  • leftovers from the previous meal (this is super easy to pack)
  • a meal that has nutritious grains, protein, and a healthy fat source
  • If you consume dairy, incorporate a dairy source in your main meal or as an add-on.

4. Add A Healthy Snack

You may not need to bring a snack if you had a fantastic main lunch and have packed fruit and veggies. However, incorporating a cooked snack is an excellent idea if your child is used to eating snacks or desires snacks because their peers do.

Making your snack has the advantage of knowing exactly what’s in it and allowing you to regulate the quantity of sugar you use. And, depending on the components you choose, it’s more likely to be additive- and preservative-free.

If you don’t have time to prepare, select a snack from the shop with care.

Consciously choosing entails disregarding the front of the packet instead of turning it over to read the ingredients on the back. Make sure you’re satisfied that these components are beneficial to your child’s health and mind.

On my website, I offer an extensive collection of nutritious lunchbox snack recipes.

5. Include a Water Bottle

At school, our children are only allowed to drink water. They don’t require any juice or milk. If you want them to have these, you can give them to them at home. They need water at school to be hydrated and replenish the fluids they consume while running around and playing.

Please send them to school with nothing but a reusable water bottle, and your kids and teachers will thank you!

Leave a Comment