There has been a lot in the news in the UK recently about packed lunches, as there has been a suggestion that packed lunches should be banned! This is to encourage more children to have healthy school dinners, as packed lunches are allegedly full of unhealthy foods such as crisps and chocolates, according to a new report. But what is a healthy packed lunch?
As school is almost out for the summer (woohoo!)….packed lunches are about to become a thing of the past (for 6 weeks) but with all of this amazing weather we are currently experiencing in the UK, picnics are a popular lunch or dinner option. You could use these packed lunch ideas for picnics too.
So…what is a healthy packed lunch?
No surprises here, but it should contain a balance of foods from all the different food groups. Try combining ideas from the groups below for some tasty and different ideas for your child’s packed lunch.
Is your child tired of sandwiches? Here are some alternative ideas:
Pitta, Wraps, Rice cakes, Bagel (½), Pasta salad, Rice salad, Couscous, Bulgar wheat
Also try different types of breads – granary, brown, ‘best of both’, seeded, soda bread, rye bread, oat-based bread, etc so that you child does not get bored of one type.
Boiled egg, Cheese, Falafel or Hummus, Salmon or Tuna, Chicken, Lean beef, Peanut butter
Fruits and vegetables – all types (fresh, dried, frozen, tinned – in juice)
A drink – water preferable
Dairy products – eg. 150-200ml milk, 30g cheese (matchbox size), 150g pot of yoghurt
Remember to provide a drink of water with each packed lunch, especially in this hot weather we are having (in the UK)
TOP TIP: freeze a bottle of water or a squeezie yoghurt to place in the lunch box – it will keep all the other foods cool and will defrost by the time it is lunch time!