Live Better

Listen now: What’s in your lunch box?

How to make sure kids consume the lot

Ensuring kids’ packed lunches are well-balanced, healthy and nutritious can be quite daunting for many parents.

Amy Whiteford is a mum dedicated to making the dreaded task a little easier. She’s studied food science, marketing and education, and is the blogger behind Healthy Little Foodies. Here are Amy’s simple, tasty and healthy tips for parents, to make sure lunch boxes come home empty.

Listen to the full interview:

1. Avoid pre-packaged snacks

When shopping for groceries, remember to check the ingredients of any pre-packaged snacks. Ideally you want to avoid anything high in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Additionally, rather than buying flavoured yoghurt — which is often packed with sugar — try making your own healthier alternative, such as mango lime yoghurt, by pureeing fresh mango and mixing it into natural greek yoghurt.

2. Use dinner leftovers

From vegetables to slow-cooked meats, when preparing dinner, cook a little extra to incorporate into the lunch box. For example, meals like lentil bake and quinoa balls make delicious snacks the next day.

3. Keep lunches varied and exciting

When packing lunch box essentials — a mixture of fruit, vegetables, lean protein and carbohydrates — make sure each lunch is varied to keep things exciting for kids.

There are many ways you can do this. For example, carrot stars are always successful — using just four ingredients; carrot, egg, cheese and oats. What’s more, they’re easily stored in the freezer so you can make a batch at once and use as required.

4. Know your child’s appetite

If your child is not eating everything in their lunch box, try packing a little less. Every child has a different appetite so they might actually eat more if their lunch is less intimidating.

For more information on family health visit Better Families.

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