Healthy lunch ideas for kids
It’s time stock up on some healthy lunch ideas for your kids! Eating healthily is important for children as it helps with their growth and development. It also helps prevent long term illnesses later on in life, as well as helping to keep their teeth in good condition.
According to NHS guidelines, a healthy lunchbox for children should contain a source of starchy carbohydrates. These include bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Alongside this, children should also have a source of protein in their lunchboxes. This can be found in animal products like lean meat, fish, milk, eggs, yoghurt and cheese. You can also get protein from plant-based foods like beans and pulses.
The NHS also recommends that children have a source of fruit or vegetables in their lunches. As a rough guide a portion of fruit and veg should be the size of your child’s palm. The guidelines also state to include a side dish which is low-fat and has a low amount of sugar. For a drink, it recommended that children have water, or milk, or sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks.
Creating a fun lunch
Healthy lunch ideas don’t just have to involve traditional sandwiches. Something different to what is usually expected is a pleasant surprise; especially for kids!
Change up the usual sliced bread and swap it for wraps or wholemeal pasta to create something different for lunch time. Wraps can be filled with a protein, various vegetables to create a filling lunch.
Try a wrap with tuna, cucumber, carrot and red onion which makes for a delicious healthy lunch. Or, you can use leftovers like cooked chicken paired with a crunchy salad. Both of these suggested fillings would also work with wholemeal pasta too.
To add a more creative element to lunches, you can even create an alternative to convenience lunches for kids. Use crackers, a choice of proteins, sliced veggies and the kids can assemble something of their own. You could even do this with wraps, using a cookie cutter to cut smaller wraps and then providing the kids with a source of protein, cheese and vegetables to fill them with how they like.
As you can see, healthy lunch ideas for kids don’t have to be the same old. Selecting from the food groups needed, as well as creating a lunch alternative to sandwiches will mean you’re on to a winner.