With the kids back in school and the reality of those New Year's promises looming, the time has come to put your resolutions where your mouth is and kick start your family's healthy eating plan.
But if you're like most Mums, juggling the competing demands of daily commitments means that you have limited time to sit down and map out an entire food plan. Which is why to save you some time and energy (and sanity!), we have come up with some easy, healthy and tasty lunchbox ideas for the kids.
Healthy Kids Lunchbox Ideas #1: Load up on your fruit and veggies
An easy way to stock up your child's lunchbox is to add in some fresh fruit and vegetables. Aim for two pieces of fruit a day and alternate the fruit every few days so that your child doesn't get bored.
Things like bananas, apples and oranges are surefire winners, but why not try fruit like grapes, strawberries, peaches and pears too? Some great ideas for adding in veggies include chopping up some raw carrot sticks and cucumber. You can even pop in some cherry tomatoes and strips of capsicum too.
Healthy Kids Lunchbox Ideas #2: Don't have snack envy
It can be hard to choose snacks that are healthy and require preparation over the abundance of packaged, colourful and highly sugared treats that are begging for your attention in the supermarket.
But the good news is that there are healthy treats you can buy that your children will actually enjoy eating! Try things like dried fruit, sultanas, mixed nuts, rice cakes, unsalted pretzels and unsalted popcorn. There are some really great muesli bars on the market too (brands like Carman's are normally pretty good) so make sure not to rule these off your list. A good rule is to search for bars that are under 400kJ per serve and contain above 4g of fibre per 100g.
Healthy Kids Lunchbox Ideas #3: Dairy goodness
Another great healthy lunchbox idea is to add a small tub of reduced fat yoghurt. They come in a variety of flavours so you can mix it up each day and find out which flavours your child prefers. You can also drop in some low-fat cheese on the days you're not including yoghurt.
Healthy Kids Lunchbox Ideas #4: Lascivious lunches
Now comes the fun part – your child's main daytime meal! Now while you may feel tempted to groan at the idea of soggy sandwiches, it's important to realise that first of all they don't need to be soggy (just dry your veggies thoroughly before adding them to the bread), and secondly they don't necessarily need to be stock standard sandwiches either. There are some really healthy lunchbox ideas out there that aren't just creative, but easy too.
Healthy Kids Lunchbox Ideas: Top Five Food Suggestions For Inspiration
1. Chicken and Vegetable Platter: This delicious lunch will have your children counting the minutes until it's lunchtime! With marinated chicken and fresh crunchy veggies, it's a fun lunch that you can prepare the night before.
2. Potato, Corn and Tuna Patties: While this lunch takes a little longer to prepare (try cooking the night before and making extra for dinner), it's well worth the effort. Your kids will love getting stuck into their lunchbox and best of all it's packed full of healthy ingredients including protein and carbohydrates so your children have lots of energy for the rest of the day.
3. Portugese Chicken Wraps: Tired of preparing dull sandwiches every day? This wrap will put the bounce back in your healthy lunchbox plans! Easy to prepare, just store the mayonnaise and sauce in small Tupperware containers so your child can add them to the wrap when they're ready to eat.
4. Pocket Full of Meatballs: This healthy lunchbox idea is so tasty that you might even be tempted to keep a few servings for yourself. It combines a fresh pita pocket with scrumptious marinated meatballs. To prevent sogginess, just store the hummus in a separate container and ensure that your veggies are clean but dry.
5. Mini Tuna Fishwiches: Cut into little fish shapes, these sandwiches aren't just cute they're delicious as well! Containing your choice of wholemeal or rye bread, along with avocados, mayonnaise, celery and tuna, it's the perfect healthy lunchbox treat.
Just remember, variety is the spice of life ” so keep those healthy lunchboxes coming. And if you're ever stuck, just come back and visit BellyBelly for some more great healthy lunchbox ideas!