How to make a healthy lunchbox
*Article contributed by Danielle Savic, Dietitian & Nutritionist
For me, a healthy lunchbox is a snapshot of a normal day of eating, but there are 3 main ingredients to ensuring your lunchbox is providing you with all the nutrients you need!
The 3 main ingredients for a healthy lunchbox:
- Fuelling food
- Muscle food
- Immunity foods (COLOUR!)
Fuelling foods give us energy to run around and play, to think clearly and do our best work at school and at home. Fuelling foods include:
- – Bread, bread rolls, wraps, pita and lavish breads
- – Crackers and crispbreads
- – Pasta
- – Noodles
- – Rice
- – Quinoa, couscous or other grains
- – Crumpets, scones, pikelets (homemade is best for these)
Muscle foods help keep you strong so your body can handle running around a lot. If we don’t have strong muscles and bones, we might feel tired and sore a lot. Some muscle foods aren’t suitable if you are following a vegetarian lifestyle, but that’s ok! There are plenty of vegetarian-friendly muscle foods. Muscle foods include:
- – Meat, fish, chicken (not appropriate for vegetarians)
- – Nuts and seeds
- – Legumes or lentils
- – Tofu
- – Eggs (may/may not suit your lifestyle)
- – Dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese
Immunity foods are colourful and help ensure our immune system is strong and healthy. We should include immunity foods into all of our meals to make sure we are getting enough micronutrients. Immunity foods include:
- – Vegetables – carrot, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery, zucchini, pumpkin, potato, capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, corn and more!
- – Fruit – banana, apple, kiwi fruit (very good for helping open bowels), mango, pear, grapes, pawpaw, berries, rockmelon, watermelon, peach, mandarin, orange and more!
Your lunchbox should include all 3 “ingredients”, every day! As well as making sure you have fuelling, muscle and immunity foods in your lunchbox. Making sure you drink water is super important.
Some ideas for a healthy lunchbox include:
- Baked potato with Mexican beans/baked beans with grated cheese and salad + muesli bar + piece of fruit + frozen milk drink
- Pita wrap with hummus, grated cheese, carrot, cucumber and lettuce + milk drink + chopped fruit salad + homemade banana bread
- Frittata (with lots of veggies!) + 1 orange + creamed rice + rice crackers and dip
- Healthy mini pizza + yogurt + homemade fruit slice + two fruits in natural juice
Dietitian & Nutritionist
Want to know more lunch box ideas or to book in to see me for individualised support? Call Paeds in a Pod on 3177 2000.