Lunch Box Magic

 Health Tips with Karla Heintz (BSc), Nutrition Educator

iStock 000009373770Small

Do your kids ever come home from school with lunch boxes that look like the food was not even acknowledged? Or maybe your kids are participating in food ‘trade-offs’ where other student’s food items are more tempting. To make your life easier here is a basic rule of thumb as to what items you want to include with your child as they venture in the classroom.

·  2 servings of Vegetables (Remember ½ a cup is one serving)

·  1 serving of Fruit

·  1 serving of something rich in Protein (nuts/seeds, animal meat, TVP, soy, fish, beans, legumes etc)

·  1 serving of a dairy (such as cheese, cow/soy/almond milk, yoghurt etc)

·  1-2 servings of whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, cous cous, whole grain pasta or bread, tortilla or pita)

·  Snack item for the afternoon (home made muffins, granola bar etc.)

With getting the food categories down pat, the next job is to focus on making it fun and appealing.  Even as adults when things are visually appealing you can’t help but want to taste it.

·  Ask your kids to pick one food item for their lunch, and have them assemble it in their bag (participation almost always gives better results)

·  My famous motto is if you can dip it, sip it or spread it  - it has to be fun! What child does not want to get their fingers dirty?

o   Put vegetables on skewers

o   Set the lunch up like a buffet style – where they grab items and assemble themselves (Crackers make a great base)

o   Yoghurt, hummus, tzatziki or tahini are nutrition packed tasty dips

Happy packing!

Karla Heintz (BSc) Nutrition Educator and Author of

‘Picky! Not Me Mom! A parents’ guide to children’s nutrition.