Packing lunches every day can be tiresome, repetitive and frustrating. Especially when your child changes what they like every week and you’re trying to juggle work and getting out the door. Add in the pressure of social media and ‘Instagram worthy’ lunches, and we can feel frustrated, tired and totally over it. But sometimes simple is better. It’s not about how fancy their lunches are, it’s about making sure that each lunch has the right foods to help their little bodies grow and concentrate in the classroom.
This post is in collaboration with Woolworths
To help you make sure your kids get the best nutrition possible, we spoke to Woolworths Nutritionist, Rebecca Williams about the five things kids need in their lunch box EVERY DAY.
Five things kids need in their lunch box every day
Fruit & Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are packed with healthy nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Different coloured fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients, so encourage your kids to eat a rainbow – a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables in their lunchbox every day. Fruit and vegetables can be served in so many different ways (raw, baked, grated or sliced) and enjoyed as a snack or part of their main meal.
Fun fruit and veg snack ideas:
Woolworths Baby Cucumbers – $3.80 for a mini punnet
Woolworths Solanato Tomatoes – $3.00 for a punnet
We know our kids need a balanced lunch box, and that’s why Woolworths Solanato Tomatoes are the perfect addition to help your little one reach their recommended vegetable serves every day. Another option could be pre-chopping carrot sticks, celery sticks or green beans to pop into the lunch box for a healthy and nutritious snack.
Woolworths Fresh Food Kids Mini Fruit – $2.50 per pack OR 50 cents per serve
Kids love mini versions of their favourite fruits and Woolworths’ Fresh Food Kids range of Mini Fruit are available in Mini Pears, Apples, Mandarins and Bananas. You could also put the different mini fruits into a bowl and get your little one to pick out what they want for that day, to make sure they eat it when the lunch bell rings.
Choose nutrient-dense whole grain options where possible. Whole grain foods like whole grain bread, wholemeal pasta or brown rice contain over 26 nutrients including B Vitamins which support growth and development in kids. A great way to help transition kids from white to wholemeal bread is to make zebra sandwiches with one slice of white and one slice of wholemeal bread.
Choose lean protein foods like skinless chicken breast, canned fish, egg or plant-based sources such as legumes. Protein foods are known for providing important nutrients such as iron and zinc which supports healthy brain function. These foods can be included in the main meal (e.g. chicken sandwiches or tuna pasta) or enjoyed as a snack (e.g. air puffed legumes or boiled eggs).
Protein snack ideas:
Woolworths Tuna in spring water – 90 cents
Woolworths no added salt chickpeas – 80 cents
Most people associate dairy foods with calcium which is important for healthy bones and teeth. However, calcium is only one of many essential nutrients found in dairy foods including protein, Vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Dairy foods can be added to main meals such as sandwiches or salads, and also make a delicious snack!
Dairy snack ideas:
Woolworths Yoghurt Pouch 70g – 75 cents
A big factor when it comes to lunch boxes is convenience. Parents want something quick and easy that they can pop into their kids lunchbox, and these yoghurt pouches are the perfect solution. Plus, they contain no artificial colours or flavours and are a source of calcium.
Woolworths Kids Flavoured Milk – $1.60
Health star rating: 4.5/5 and 25% less sugar than the average of regular flavoured milks. Woolworths Kids Flavoured Milks have been taste tested by kids and the majority of kids surveyed by Woolworths said they like these products, so they are a proven winner too!
Water is the healthiest drink for children. Include a bottle of water in your kid’s lunchbox every day.
Hopefully, these ideas help packing those lunches every day a whole lot easier. Remember, it doesn’t need to be fancy, sometimes kids prefer simple foods.