THINK­ING IN THE BOX

Mum-of-two and so­cial com­men­ta­tor An­gela Mol­lard guides you through the thrills and spills of par­ent­hood

New Idea - - New Stress-Free -

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.

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