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How to make school lunches kids will actually eat

29th January 2013

How to make school lunches kids will actually eat

Creating tasty and nutritious lunches that don’t cost a packet can be one of the biggest challenges parents face during the school year.

Nutrients and energy are vital in helping children concentrate in class and to get them through the school day. Making great tasting lunches to feed hungry minds is easy with a bit of planning and input from your kids, says nutritionist Bronwen Anderson.

“Kids should be eating meals that include whole grains, a variety of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, good fats and calcium-rich foods each day. Talk to your kids and get them involved so you can make lunches they will enjoy,” says Bronwen. “Getting them on-side and in the kitchen means you can teach them about healthy eating and teach them new skills.”

It may be tempting to pack kids off to school with chips, cookies and soft drinks but establishing healthy eating habits now will pay dividends in the future, says Bronwen. Here are five tasty and healthy ideas for kids’ lunch boxes.

• Kids are more likely to eat fruit that is cut into bite size pieces. A fresh fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins. Offer different seasonal fruits for a change in flavour, colour and texture.

• Wholemeal wraps or mini pita pockets are great for whipping up a quick and easy lunch. Use fresh avocado as the spread instead of butter then fill with ham, cheese, lettuce, baby spinach leaves and cucumber. Roll up wraps and cut into pinwheels or fill pita pockets.

• Make mini pizzas by spreading English muffin halves with tomato puree and top them with chopped onion, capsicum and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 5 minutes then let them cool. Include a small container of berries and grapes for a boost of antioxidants.

• Finger food is a favourite with kids and crustless mini quiches fit the bill perfectly. Sauté some mushrooms, onion, broccoli, spinach, ham or chicken and stir through an egg mixture. Bake in muffin tins until golden, cool and pack. Save time and make a batch of 12 then store in the fridge until required.

• Make one day of the week Dip Day. As part of their lunch give kids a yoghurt-based dip or hummus along with baby carrots, cucumber sticks and green beans for dipping.

Go to www.5aday.co.nz for more tips, recipes and other information. Or Like us on Facebook, facebook.com/5adayNZ or follow us on Twitter, Fredge_5Aday.

ENDS

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