THINKING IN THE BOX
Mum-of-two and social commentator Angela Mollard guides you through the thrills and spills of parenthood
You’re short on time and inspiration, yet you want to ensure your little one is getting great nourishment. We spoke to Jessica Hoskins, nutritionist at Sage and Folk, who works with primary school kids to help them prepare healthy meals. Here are her tips for improving your child’s lunchbox...
INCLUDE HEALTHY FAT Fat is important for brain development and ensures kids are satiated and able to concentrate. Good sources include eggs, avocados, nuts (if permitted), seeds and yoghurt. ADD A PROBIOTIC A healthy gut can have a positive effect on brain function and immunity. Jessica suggests one serve of a probiotic‑rich food such as yoghurt, fermented vegetables or miso soup a day. OUT OF THE BOX Not all lunches have to fit into a lunchbox. For older kids, pack broths, soups and stews into a thermos. GET CREATIVE Lunchtime should be fun, so add some amusement by cutting food into shapes. Adds Jessica: ‘Adding a note to let them know you care is a lovely way to add some extra love.’ INVOLVE YOUR CHILD When planning, consult your child and encourage them to have input into their lunchbox. Jessica says a sense of empowerment is key to getting fussy kids to eat healthy food, so get them to help out in the preparation. You may find that they don’t like celery, but are prepared to eat it with hummus. WRAP SUBSTITUTES The wheat in bread and wraps can have an inflammatory effect. Instead of sandwiches, mix it up by wrapping with sliced ham, turkey, rice paper or lettuce. DIPS FOR EVERYTHING Everyone loves dip and they’re a great way of encouraging kids to eat vegetables. Choose an additive-free dip or make your own, sneaking in extra nutrition. UPGRADE REGULARS If your child loves something, you know they’ll eat it, so find a way to make it even better. For example, buy wholegrain muesli bars only sweetened by honey, or make your own bars and biscuits.