Healthy eating isn’t just for people concerned about their weight. A balanced diet also provides more energy released throughout the day and helps your body resist infections. Healthy eating starts at home and continues in the office and at school where it is easy to ignore the guidelines for a healthy lunch box and go for pre-packaged foods.
A healthy lunch box doesn’t have to be boring, expensive or difficult to prepare. On the contrary, it can be just as appetising, good-value, and easy to make for the whole family. All it requires is a bit of imagination and planning. Having a convenient container like a lunch box with compartments or a bento box goes a long way to make things easier.
A balanced and healthy lunch box should include: meat, fish or another source of protein; a starchy carbohydrate (brown bread), and two portions of fruit and vegetable. It should be accompanied with and water, juice or milk. Avoid sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks, white bread and processed meat.
For an appetising and healthy lunch box, think beyond the traditional sandwich fillings. Pasta – either hot or cold – makes delicious lunches which are guaranteed to keep you going through the afternoon. Make sure to add enough fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, peas, peppers, or herbs to meet your 5-a-day requirements. Think about ways to replace the pasta by including grains like bulgur or quinoa. An insulated lunch bag will help keep your pasta warm until lunchtime.
Besides fruit, the options for delicious and healthy desserts are endless. Try fresh or tinned fruit salads, low fat yoghurt, home made rice pudding, blueberry muffins, and banana cakes.
If you are worried that the new menu won’t be a hit with the kids, try introducing change slowly and getting them involved in the kitchen. The children can come up with their own menus and see if they meet the requirements, they can make their own sandwich spread, chop the vegetables, and even bake their bread or muffins.
Packing a healthy lunch box with compartments is appetising, easy and fun for the whole family.