Congratulations, You have survived another Summer with the kids!
What better time than the new school year, to get motivated on what to pack for our children’s packed lunch to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
By giving your child a healthy balanced diet, you are ensuring that your child is getting all the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that children need for healthy growth and to develop.
A well planned and balanced meal (& drink!) will keep them fuller for longer, avoid any ‘sugar crashes’ and help them stay hydrated. This in turn will help them thrive when in class by improving concentration.
The NHS Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see 5 A Day)
- base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
- have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
- eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
1# Lunch Boxes – The Bento Box
The Bento box is absolutely perfect! Not only does it make it very easy to see whether the lunch is well balanced, it is also great for fussy eaters, that do not like their food touching.
This is a win-win for both parents and children.
This particular bento box can be found on Notonthehighstreet.com, however there are cheaper options available on both Amazon and Ebay.
2# Refillable Water Bottles
If you have read any of our previous blogs, you will know that we are huge fans of refillable water bottles.
They not only encourage us to stay hydrated but they are much kinder to the environment than buying single use bottles.
Let your child choose their own bottle, and this will encourage them to keep drinking and stay hydrated.
Water really is the best choice to be giving our children. However if you are finding this very difficult with your child, choose a ‘sugar free’ fruit squash rather than a ‘no added sugar’ . These can still contain a high level of sugar.
3# Get Creative
Getting creative doesn’t necessarily mean time consuming. Thinking of new ways to present our children’s food stops them from getting bored. It encourages even the fussiest of eaters and helps us sneak in a few extra veggies.
We love these Sandwich Kebabs. All you need is some wooden kebab sticks, these can be washed and reused. (and be sure to cut off the sharp end)
You can play around with different types of bread, wraps, bagels and swap out different types of fruit and vegetables to keep things interesting.
Adding both a protein i.e chicken, ham or boiled egg plus cheese (or cheese alternative) also helps keep the meal balanced.
This is also a great way to get your little one to try foods such as olives, pickles and radishes and expand their taste buds.
4# Cookie Cutters
A saving grace for the fussy eater! Cookie cutters can be used to quickly and creatively cut fruit and veg. For example a watermelon, cucumber, carrots, pineapple and kiwi. Offering the food in this way will encourage your little one to eat their fruit and veg. They may even try new foods.
We are all about being environmentally friendly here at Aloe Vera Dental Studio. So any waste created by using the cookie cutter can be used in a smoothie, porridge or overnight oats.
5# Refined sugar-free baking
We’ve said this one time and time again, but trying out some refined sugar free recipes (if you haven’t already). It’s a great way to still feel like you’re having (or giving your child) a naughty treat…without the guilt.
It’s also another great way to sneak in some veggies without your children realising it.
Perhaps you could set aside some time at the weekend? Make a batch of something like these refined sugar free brownies. Pop them in a seal tight container and you have some prepared for the packed lunches throughout the week. This could even be a family activity that you do together?
Honestly, you would never know these brownies contain courgettes – They were delicious!
We hope that you have found some of our tips useful. We hope that it has given you the motivation to start the new school year well and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is very important to us, including healthcare.
For this reason we have introduced a child membership plan, a preventative approach to dentistry. To find out more, please follow the link below.