Week 7 - Snacks and packed lunches
This week we look at healthy options to keep your child’s energy up through the day including the best options for a healthy lunch.
Snacks keep our energy levels up, provide a range of nutrients and can keep our hunger at bay. Snacks can be healthy if you choose the right type of snack and the quantity. Some snacks can contain extra saturated fat, sugar and salt so choose wisely and choose a variety of snacks from the different food groups e.g. fruit and vegetables.
- Keep a healthy snack in your rucksack
- Avoid having too many unhealthy treats at home, keeping them out of sight can help
- At home have a fruit bowl
- Have some low fat plain yoghurt in the fridge
- Snack when you are hungry, if there is a long gap between your meals or if you plan to do some exercise
- Ensure your snacks are nutritious and make it a positive aspect of your eating habits
What snacks can I have?
Fruit and vegetable snacks can be a good choice for children and homemade snacks can be cheaper than readymade ones.
- Cheese and crackers
- Vegetable sticks with dips e.g. hummus, guacamole
- Plain popcorn
- Plain low fat yoghurt with fruit
- Rice cakes with low fat cream cheese
- Boiled eggs
For more snack ideas click on the button below
Eating a nutritious lunch for children is important, which can give them energy and keep them going till the end of the school day. A good packed lunch will include a variety of foods from different food groups providing nutrients for children to stay healthy. Knowing your child’s lunch box policy for school can also help you plan a healthy packed lunch.
What is considered as a healthier packed lunch?
- Base packed lunches on starchy foods incorporating wholegrain types e.g. wholemeal bread, cous cous, wraps, pasta.
- Add fruit and vegetables e.g. sliced vegetables in a sandwich and chopped up fruit in a small pot.
- Include some form of protein e.g. eggs, chicken, pulses either as a sandwich filling or in rice and pasta.
- Add some cheese or low-fat yoghurt a source of calcium for strong teeth and bones.
- Include a water bottle which your child can fill up
- Keep your child’s lunch box chilled with an ice pack, use mini containers for snacks, keep lunchbox clean and store it away from direct sunlight and heat.
Less Healthy Lunchbox
White bread with processed meat, confectionary, sugary drink and snack with added salt & saturated fat
Starchy carbohydrate, salad, fresh fruit, vegetables and unsalted snack
Are you struggling with ideas for your child’s packed lunch? Take a look at the Change4Life healthier lunchbox recipes page to help you.
Find out what your child’s school’s lunchbox policy is by speaking to your child’s school.