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Healthy Packed Lunches
Be Smart – Eat Smart
Making a packed lunch for children every day can be quite a test of a parent’s ingenuity and can fill busy parents with dread. It is very easy to fall into a unhealthy routine of sandwich, crisps, chocolate bar and a drink.
There are plenty of healthy alternatives that are quick and easy and will not only keep the fussiest eaters happy but will also make the packed lunch look a lot more interesting.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with a traditional sandwich try introducing different breads, pittas and rolls - generally breads with more fibre are more filling and nutritious, and white bread has the least fibre of the lot.
Consider making 'lettuce rolls' instead of sandwiches. Simply wrap the normal sandwich contents in a crisp lettuce leaf and then wrap in brown paper or cling film (be sure to include a small ice pack in the lunch box to keep the rolls cool)
Fillings – Cold meats, tuna, humous, prawns and egg provide excellent nutritional value and by adding some salad can turn the sandwich into a feast.
Rice or Couscous salads are healthy and filling. Brown rice is much healthier and by packing the salad with lots of vegetables, cold chicken or tuna will not only make the lunch look more interesting but also fill even the hungriest child.
Cold pasta can make a fantastic lunchbox and if you are on a budget use the leftovers from the night before. Wholemeal, or wheat free pastas can also taste great. Tuna and sweet corn are a popular combination, other ideas are red pepper, mushroom and chicken, feta and green beans – the list is endless.
A small pot of dip along with sliced vegetables, bread sticks and pitta bread will add an element of fun to any packed lunch. Dips are relatively cheap to buy at any supermarket, if you don’t have time to make your own and there are endless varieties available – something to keep everyone happy.
Longer lasting fruits such as oranges and apples are perfect for healthy lunch boxes. Try including strawberries, seedless grapes and kiwis (cut up and peeled) in little pots or other seasonal berries.
Dried fruit is handy for lunch boxes and easily available from most supermarkets. Raisins and apricots are very popular and are great for children with a sweet tooth, although they are high in sugar, so be frugal.
Be Smart – Eat Smart