The importance of packing a healthy lunchbox is immeasurable. Kids are more alert and focused when they’re fuelled with healthy food. Higher levels of sustained concentration mean that kids can more readily retain information and therefore learn. What’s in their lunchbox can make up to a third of their daily nutrients and provides all of the energy they need to get through an action packed day. A lunchbox filled with sugary, fatty food doesn’t provide long lasting energy or necessary vitamins and minerals, and can be a major contributing factor to decay poor oral health.
Foods to put in a lunch box
- Fresh fruit
- Crunchy vegetables
- A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*
- Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt
- Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers
Practical issues for busy families
Foods should be simple and easy to prepare, ready to eat and appetising after several hours storage in the lunch box. Foods such as sandwiches can be prepared the night before or on the weekend, frozen, then taken for each day’s lunch box. Suitable foods to freeze include:
- Cooked meat
- Peanut butter
- Baked beans
- Mashed eggs
- Yeast or vegetable spreads such as Vegemite.
Best drinks for lunch boxes
Water and milk are the best drinks for children. They can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunch box cool. Sweet drinks such as fruit juices, juice drinks, cordials, sports drinks, flavoured mineral waters, soft drinks and fizzy drinks are high in sugar and not necessary. These drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay, are filling and may take the place of healthier foods.
Healthy lunch box planner
We have created a lunch box planner which makes it easier for you to plan ahead and ensure that you/your children are consuming healthier foods which will promote better oral health.
To download the planner please click here