A healthy lunchbox is important to keep children fuelled for a long day of learning and play, and to support growth and development. Lunchboxes should contain about one third of a child’s food for the day. Remember to also pack a water bottle and a Crunch&Sip snack, preferably vegetables.
For a healthy lunchbox, include items from each of these key groups:
Foods to leave out of the lunchbox
These foods are not essential for good health and are best left out of the lunchbox:
- Soft drink, cordial, flavoured waters, sports drinks and energy drinks
- Chocolate, chocolate spread, jam, honey and lollies
- Crisps, and similar snack items, deep fried foods, fast food
- Store-bought biscuits, muffins, cakes, pastries, pies and sausage rolls
- Processed meats such as salami, ham and bacon
Keep food safe and minimise the risk of food poisoning.
- Keep cold food cold. Place an ice brick, frozen water bottle or frozen tub of yoghurt in the lunchbox. Pair with an insulated lunchbox or cooler bag.
- Keep hot food hot. Use an insulated flask for soup and other hot meals.
- Any food left in the lunchbox at the end of the day should be thrown out.
- Wash and dry lunchboxes and water bottles each day.
- Wash your hands before preparing food
In need of some lunchbox inspiration?
1. The Healthy Lunchbox website developed by Cancer Council NSW in partnership with OUTRUN CANCER has lots of great resources designed to take the guess work out of packing a healthy lunchbox, including:
- Lunch box builder
- Lunchbox ideas
- Healthy swaps
- Saving time
Image source: http://healthylunchbox.com.au/
3. Weigh up your lunch is a fun and interactive online game designed to help children understand what makes up a healthy lunchbox. Click here to try it out.
4. Watch the clip below from Nutrition Australia for more ideas.