Balancing the lunchbox

There is a lot of nutritional information available to get us thinking about what makes a healthy lunchbox in terms of the five food groups and lots of great ideas to inspire you and your child year-round.

What do we need to pack a healthy lunchbox?

  • 1 serving of protein (lean meats etc.)
  • 1 serving of vegetables
  • 1 serving of fruit
  • 1 serving of wholegrains
  • 1 serving of dairy or dairy alternative

Great online resources can help you and your children pack a healthy lunch that will get eaten including the 10-day lunch box menu or we love the Lunchbox builder tool. Try to pack foods that won’t go soggy like veggie sticks for example or maybe pack the sandwich filling separately for your child to construct at school.

Tips for fussy eaters

Looking for a great resource to help pack lunch with a fussy eater? Try this one!

Getting kids involved in choosing and packing their lunch may help fussy eaters and stop food ending up in the bin. If leftovers do come home, try encouraging your kids to eat them for afternoon tea or use them up in dinner (like carrot sticks).

Top tips include:

  • Lead by example, try to share the enjoyment of healthy food with your children.
  • Get kids involved in lunchmaking — kids tend to eat if they can serve themselves or help with food preparation. 
  • Meal plan/shop together — giving kids some choice over what they are eating can help foster their sense of independence.
  • Make meals and snacks interesting by including different colours, shapes and textures.
  • Try not to give in with preferred foods because “they have to eat something”.
  • Praise efforts and try to ignore unwelcome behaviour.
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