Back to school has begun after the summer break. School is where children form their own opinions, make their own judgments, and learn about good and bad behaviors. When we get our kids ready for school, we assist with teeth brushing, get them dressed, tie their shoe laces, comb their hair, and fill their backpacks with their assignments. But that's not all, there's still work to be done on their "Lunch Box," which is the most crucial task. Kids' lunch boxes are a big attraction to them. They wait for a very long time before they can open their lunch boxes and see the delicious food inside. Food should be tantalizing as well as nutritious and fresh.
Often, mothers keep asking me, What should we put in our kid's lunch boxes? Today we'll discuss what we should put in the kids' lunch boxes and what we shouldn't.
Food safety should be taken into account while preparing school lunches, along with nutritional value and ensuring that your children get enough veggies. Children in school age pick things up rapidly and are influenced by their friends and current events. This is a crucial moment to promote and discuss good eating practices. Your work is a little bit easier when a child helps you build their own lunch box.
How can we get our kids involved in making their lunch boxes?
Discuss with your kids what they want to pack in their lunchbox. Together, decide on more wholesome options for food and drink and what will go in the lunchbox.
Together, make a shopping list. Let your kids choose items from the shopping list when you take them to the store.
Encourage your kids to assist with packing their lunches. Younger children can assist with creating sandwiches or chopping up soft fruit, while older children might be able to make the most of their lunch on their own. To allow kids to participate, it is a good idea to prepare lunchboxes the night before.
Healthier lunch box preparation
You can talk to your child about good and bad foods and explain the advantages of packing a nutritious lunch. then use them to create a list organized by day.
What can we put in the lunch box?
Fruit - best choice is fresh fruit. Dried fruit is sticky and high in sugar, so have it occasionally.
Vegetables - Try fresh, crunchy vegetable sticks with dip or a small container with mixed vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, capsicum, and cucumber.
Milk, yogurt, or cheese - you can use reduced-fat options for children over the age of 2 years. For children who cannot tolerate milk products, offer appropriate daily alternatives like calcium fortified soy or rice drinks or soy yogurt.
Meat or meat alternative foods - try lean meat (like chicken strips), a hard-boiled egg, or peanut butter.
Grain or cereal foods - like a bread roll, flat bread, fruit bread, or some crackers (wholegrain or wholemeal options).
Drinks - filtered water.
What foods should we avoid in kids' lunchboxes?
All sweet drinks, such as fruit juices, fruit drinks, cordials, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored waters, flavored mineral waters, iced teas, and soft drinks. These are high in energy and sugar, and can lead to weight gain and oral health problems in children.
If you are packing a child's tiffin for school, make sure to avoid instant noodles in the lunch box. Made with maida and full of preservatives, they have no nutritional value. These noodles have mere empty calories, and they are harmful for the gut as well.
Often, parents pack leftover curries and vegetables in tiffin. But, during hot summers, by the time of lunch, the taste and nutritional value of the dish are severely impacted. Also, there is a possibility that food might get spoiled and kids might not realize it. This can also cause food poisoning.
Wrapped in easy-to-open individual packaging, it seems like muesli bars are designed especially for school lunches. And it’s so easy to grab one out of the pantry and add it to the lunch box for extra padding. But, turns out, many muesli bars are just jam-packed with added sugar, refined starch, and fat.Not all muesli bars should be treated equally – look for ones that are high in oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Or, we suggest making your own.
Processed meat or cold cut meats.
Many parents prepare sandwiches with processed meat without considering the ingredients. Numerous compounds, including nitrates and extra salt, are included in processed meats. Additionally, they include artificial coloring and bad fats. As an alternative, you could slow-cook your own chicken over the weekend and slice it up for the remainder of the week. The meat will be healthier for your child, have more flavor, and have less dangerous ingredients. Use whole grain bread when cooking sandwiches, pile on some sliced vegetables, and swap out the mayo with hummus or avocado. You may complete a delicious dinner by serving some fresh fruit as a side.
Deep fried food.
No matter how much we wish cheese puffs were considered a kind of dairy and potato chips or french fries were considered a portion of vegetables, these snacks don't provide much in the way of actual nutrition. They are worse than empty calories since they are mostly made of fat and salt.
Baked sweet treats and candies.
Avoid packing your child's lunch with candy, sugary jellies, and pastries since they include a lot of chemical preservatives that are bad for their health in addition to having a lot of refined sugar and bread. The ideal alternative to these candies and pastries is fresh fruit and berries, which are packed with vitamins and sugars from the natural world.
Any sandwich high in mayonnaise should not be brought since it may spoil by the time the youngsters eat lunch. Although it is entirely unhealthy, it does give a sandwich the ideal amount of creaminess. Instead, substitute hanging curd or Greek yogurt with a little lime juice if you want to pack a creamy sandwich. They will enhance the flavor of the salad in addition to being healthy.