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Lunchboxes | Annabel Karmel

Given that school children consume one third of their daily food intake at school (once they are too old for the governments free school meals initiative), the humble lunch box is worthy of consideration. It is too easy for lunchboxes to be packed full of the wrong things, namely the usual culprits; fat, sugar and salt. Not only do these lunch boxes miss the nutritional mark they also negatively impact on energy and concentration levels during the day.

  • The humble sarnie still has its place but consider white bread alternatives like pitta pockets, ciabatta, mini baguettes or bagels. Be creative with your contents; tuna, chopped egg, griddled chicken, shredded lettuce….
  • Veggie dipsticks are popular and you can wrap carrot, pepper or cucumber sticks in damp kitchen paper to stop them drying out, and spoon hummus or guacamole into a pot.
  • Soups and salads are great ways of topping up vitamin consumption and there are endless flavours and combinations to play with. Flasks will keep soup warm and is real winner on cold days.
  • Too often the brown banana and bruised apple come home uneaten at the end of the day so make fruit more appealing by threading bite size chunks on to a straw.
  • Snacks needn’t be public enemy number one. Although schools are increasingly banning chocolate you can top up your children’s energy levels and their nutrition with dried fruit or homemade muffins or flapjacks.
  • Don’t forget to drink! Staying hydrated is as important for concentration and energy levels as good nutrition. Beware of ‘juice drinks’ which may contain more sugar and water than juice. Water is a winner!

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