Lunchbox tips

Do you worry about what to put in your child's lunchbox each day? Fear no longer! Nutritionist Yvonne Wake offers her suggestions

If your child has a packed lunch at school and you want to make up a healthy lunchbox, here are my tips. You should also consider my list of snacks.

Here is one week's worth of healthy lunch box ideas:

Lunchbox one

• wholemeal pitta bread with smooth peanut butter
• small container of trail mix (see my list of snacks)
• chopped fruit – apple, pear, and orange
• fresh apple juice
• healthy yoghurt

Lunchbox two

• wholemeal bagel with soft cheese and cucumber
• small container with cherry tomatoes and strips of carrot
• homemade apple puree (see recipe, below)
• handful of raisins and dried apricots in a small plastic bag
• fresh orange juice

Apple puree Place a large Granny Smith apple into a steamer and leave for ten minutes on a medium to high burner. Remove it and cut in half. Scoop out the soft apple and leave until cool. Stir in a tiny spoonful of honey and place in a container for the lunchbox. This is just enough for a child’s portion.

Lunchbox three

• wholemeal bread sandwich with cheddar cheese, cucumber and tomato
• strips of carrot and red peppers
• fruit smoothie
• small container of strawberries
• fresh apple juice

Lunchbox four

• wholemeal pitta bread with salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato) and tuna fish
• a banana
• small bunch of grapes
• healthy yoghurt
• fresh juice

Lunchbox five

• small container with brown rice, cherry tomatoes, cubes of cucumber, fish (i.e. salmon, tuna, cod), sweetcorn and peas
• Sliced avocado and celery sticks
• Fresh berries 
• Fresh juice

Some tips on lunchboxes

• Make sure the lunchbox contains a freezer pack (for yoghurts, tuna, cheese etc)
• Buy small plastic bags and containers as children like to open them and be surprised 
• Change lunch box contents every day. Children like the variety, and like to be surprised
• Presume that water is on offer at school (it should be) and put a fresh juice into the lunch box
• Use up food from the night before, i.e. stir-fried vegetables, fish and rice, as it won't be possible to prepare this in the morning before school.
• Wholegrain bread/pitta/rice are a more nutritious option than refined grains (I explain this further in my article on bread).

Related links

Meal Deal the facts about a balanced diet: Over 90 percent of children don’t get enough fruit and vegetables in their diet: Yvonne Wake, Supernanny’s nutritionist, gives a step by step account of what kids need in their diet and how we can provide it.

Healthy snacks for kids: Yvonne Wake gives her suggestions.

Coping with a Fussy Eater: Here’s one issue that has many parents tearing their hair out with frustration: how to get a child to eat anything near a balanced diet?

The Snack Jar Technique: This is used on Supernanny to limit a child's consumption of unhealthy snacks, so they have a healthy appetite when a good meal is on the table...

Placemat Reward Chart: As used on the show, the Placemat Reward Chart is used to help deal with fussy eaters…

Liven up that Lunchbox: Cheese sandwiches for lunch…again? Let our fresh ideas give you nutritious, healthy packed lunch options for choosy customers!

Supernanny Guide to Healthy Eating: If it feels like your child is eating all the wrong foods - or not eating at all - these Supernanny tips could help.

Raising a Good Eater: Supernanny’s Good Eater Technique is a useful method for getting meal times back on track.

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