Did you know only one third of 8-14 year olds pack their lunch box every day? A recent study found those who pack their lunch only occasionally are less likely to eat everything in their lunch box than those packing lunch every day – and may be subsequently missing out on critical nutrients and energy.
Experts agree that getting children involved in packing wholesome, nutrient-rich lunch boxes is one of the most important things a parent can provide for their child. Kids are capable of packing their lunches from around the age of 8 or 9, so why not encourage them to get in the kitchen and pack a lunch with your help?
Accredited practising dietitian Kate Di Prima shares her best tip for parents to make lunch box packing easy for their kids.
1. Timing is key!
Encourage kids to prepare as much as they can the night before to avoid the crazy rush in the morning.
2. Provide a sturdy lunch box
Look for a lunch box which has space for 4-5 containers or compartments. Use this as an opportunity to teach your child to ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ for our environment.
3. Pre-cut fruit, veggies and cheese
Then wrap in plastic wrap or store in containers in the fridge. This will prevent the need for kids to use sharp knives in the kitchen.
4. Plan dinner meals
They can be used for lunch box leftovers the next day e.g. A barbecue beef meal on Sunday night provides great Monday lunch leftovers for easy sandwich / wrap fillings that kids will love.
5. Colour code food items
This will help correspond with recess and lunch breaks. Eating the right combinations of foods can help with energy, concentration and stamina. Use red stickers for recess and green for lunch.
Do your kids pack their own lunch?