How to pack a healthy lunchbox for your children
 - Medshield Movement

How to pack a healthy lunchbox for your children

Like any healthy plate of food, you want to make sure that your kids lunch box contains a mixture of protein, fats and carbs – macronutrients – and some nutrient and vitamin-rich fruit and veggies. 

Packing a healthy lunchbox for your kids ensures that they stay mentally and physically alert while at school – and that they have enough energy for sports in the afternoon. While it may require a little effort, we have some great lunchbox tips and tricks that will set you up for success

Think of your kid’s lunch box as three parts:

1/ The “main” meal

2/ The snacks

3/ The treat 

The “Main meal”

This needs to be the grounding meal of the lunch box. It should have a mixture of all your macronutrients and serves to fuel your child for the afternoon ahead.

This could be leftovers: such as: a pasta bake, a portion of lasagne, leftover braai food (chicken pieces and a mealie, for example). You will need to pack some utensils (a wooden spoon can work for bakes and pasta). 

Other great ideas for the main part of the lunch box that don’t require cutlery, include: sandwiches, bagels, wraps, burgers, pies or pitas. Just make sure that the filling contains some kind of protein and other nutrients. The trick is to avoid foods that are very high in sugar and will create energy highs and crashes later on. 

For example, try combinations such as: tuna-mayo toastie with rye bread or a veggie burger with mayo, lettuce and tomato or a falafel wrap with slaw and hummus or a chicken wrap with salad or a peanut-butter and banana sandwich. 

The Sides

Let’s start with the snacks and then get to the treat…

Great snacks for lunch boxes include: fruit, such as berries, slices of fruit like pawpaw or melon, a naartjie, a banana, an apple, sliced cucumber, sliced peppers or cocktail tomatoes. These must be easy to eat and packed with good nutrients and vitamins. 

The “treat” should be something that offers a little “pick-me-up” but still contains quality nutrients. This could be something like a banana muffin <can we link to the new recipe, please?> , a mini quiche, an oat bar or oat-based chunky biscuits or a small tub of yoghurt with some fruit. This should be something your child can eat fairly quickly at first break and it will give them some energy for the remaining lessons before lunchtime. 

And, it goes without saying, make sure that your child has something to drink as well (not necessarily fruit juice, which is high in sugar). The best is always water, but if they struggle to drink plain water, add some slices of fruit or mint to the water bottle to add a little flavour.

For more meal-planning recipe ideas, click here. 

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