Gladstone GP Superclinic dietician Megan Leane recommends a balanced diet for the back to school lunchbox. Pictured with Tayla Sackley, 10, Ethan Sackley, 12, Kayla Sackley, 14, and TobyMarr, 10.
Gladstone GP Superclinic dietician Megan Leane recommends a balanced diet for the back to school lunchbox. Pictured with Tayla Sackley, 10, Ethan Sackley, 12, Kayla Sackley, 14, and TobyMarr, 10. Michael Richards

Learning easy to digest with a healthy school lunch for kids

NUTRITION plays an essential role in your child's performance at school.

We all want to feed our kids the best fuel for their bodies, but sometimes it can be a real minefield telling the good from the bad.

We're all aware of the hidden sugar in our food, particularly the convenient pre-packaged foods that are so easy to pop into a lunch box.

Look out for the "No Added Sugar" label on the front of packaging, this is a legal term which means they've gone to a lot of effort to minimise the sugar content.

You can also use the new 5-star health rating on the front of the package. This shows the amount of sugar per 100g of the food item. Look for anything less than 15g per 100g for low sugar options.

A healthy lunch box should include a variety of different foods from the five core food groups (wholegrains, dairy products, fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat). This makes sure your kids get a variety of different nutrients to fuel their bodies.

Let's look at an example:

  • Fruit Break: apple
  • Little Lunch: yogurt and strawberries
  • Big Lunch: multigrain sandwich with chicken, cheese and salad with wholegrain rice crackers

 

RECIPE: Easy fresh salsa

Ingredients:

400g can diced tomatoes

½ medium red capsicum (finely diced)

4x shallots (finely sliced)

1 tbs tomato paste

Chilli to taste
 

Method:

Cook capsicum (and chilli if using) in a hot pan until soft.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste and shallots, bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 10-15 mins until thick.

Serve with crackers, corn chips or vegie sticks.