Lunch box ideas your kids will love
LUNCH boxes can be fickle things when it comes to finding something your kids will love.
Gladstone Dietician Megan Leane said parents should think about the way the kids transport food.
"Make sure food is lunch box friendly. You can put sandwich ingredients in a smaller box so kids can build their own lunch, then the sandwich doesn't go soggy,” Ms Leane said.
Ms Leane said absolute musts in lunch boxes are dairy, grains, fruit and vegetables as well as water.
"All three food groups are rich is carbohydrates, it's brain food to sustain concentration through the day ... most kids get veggies at dinner but if you can sneak veggies into a lunch box even better,” she said.
Ms Leane advises parents to change the presentation of the lunch to keep children interested in what they're eating.
"No one wants a daggy zip lock bag so use containers which are easy to access,” Ms Leane said.
"Change the shapes, cut the sandwich into stars to make kids eat more willingly and by making it interactive for the kids, the more likely they'll eat the food.”
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (SAKGF) is a program that encourages schools to grown their own vegetable gardens so they can teach children the importance of eating healthy.
SAKGF spokeswoman Claire McClelland said children love to eat veggies they've grown themselves.
"Get your child involved in the process of growing, cooking or slicing, it's the best way to make sure every bit is eaten and enjoyed,” Ms McClelland said.
"Why not start with cherry tomatoes and snap peas? They're delicious to eat and easy to grow.”
SAKGF suggest using what's in season because it's fresher and cheaper.
Ms Leane said hiding fruit and vegetables in muffins makes children think they're being treated with a muffin without knowing it's good for them.
"Anything we can hide is great and home cooking is a great way to hide whole grains,” Ms Leane said.
"Cook savoury muffins with whole grain flour or with chia seeds, kids think they're getting a muffin.”
For those after a helping hand, Gladstone GP Super Clinic are holding a healthy eating group in February.
Ms Leane said it's a hands on program with two groups.
"Mummy and me (for toddlers) to learn and explore food and the second group is for school age and up,” she said.
The program is $120 for eight weeks and there are up to ten places available.
Contact the Gladstone GP Super Clinic for more information.