What’s in the box?

IT’S the dreaded ques­tion that hangs over most evenings – or early morn­ings if you dare risk it – what to make for lunch?! Lucinda Lourens from the As­so­ci­a­tion for Di­etet­ics in South Africa of­fers these handy tips: School Lunch Pack Tips

Post - - LIFESTYLE -

SAND­WICH fillers that bal­ance health as­pects and still man­age to at­tract the taste buds of fussy eaters aka chil­dren.

Thinly sliced left­over meat, chicken or turkey

Tuna/chicken/egg and light may­on­naise

Su­gar-free peanut but­ter or nut but­ters Lean minced meat Liver/fish spread

Cot­tage cheese

Light hum­mus

Add ons: av­o­ca­dos, to­ma­toes, greens (baby spinach, let­tuce or cab­bage), cu­cum­ber, gherkins, low-fat cheese, lean soft bil­tong and lean ba­con.

The health­i­est type of bread:

Low GI seeded bread/buns; Whole­grain or multi-seed wraps/pitas; Gluten- and wheat-free op­tions should only be given to chil­dren with a true al­lergy or in­tol­er­ance;

Home-made breads are great – es­pe­cially if you make use of stone­ground flour, nuts and seeds to keep the GI low.

Healthy drinks:

Wa­ter (al­ways) Home-made ice tea

Low-fat un­flavoured, su­gar-free milk Di­luted 100% fruit juice (¼juice, ¾wa­ter)

Healthy snacks to in­clude in the lunch box:


Fresh fruit

Fish cakes

Baby quiches

Un­salted mixed nuts

Roasted mealies

Low-fat yo­ghurt or cus­tard

Lean meat and vegetable balls Whole­grain home-made muffins Fruit and/or vegetable smoothie Home-made banana and nut bread Fruit salad with light cus­tard or low fat yo­ghurt

Mini-whole­grain pita or wrap with vegetable and pro­tein (cheese, chicken or meat) fill­ing

Lean bil­tong, os­trich or game with cot­tage cheese dip

Provita or whole­grain crack­ers with a low-fat/su­gar-free spread

Raw veggies (car­rots, snap peas, cherry to­ma­toes and baby corn) with a dip (light may­on­naise, su­gar-free peanut but­ter or hum­mus)

Help­ful tips for lunch box plan­ning/ shop­ping:

The five golden rules for a healthy school lunch box are va­ri­ety, bal­ance, colour­ful, fresh and fun.

Use a lunch box with di­viders to pack the lunch and snack in creative ways. It will also dis­play food more at­trac­tively.

Make them feel spe­cial… write a short note or put a pic­ture of their favourite su­per­hero or a fam­ily photo in their lunch box.

Put your child’s name on it to make them feel im­por­tant.

Re­sist giv­ing your child money to spend at the school cafe­te­ria.

Keep it in­ter­est­ing: cut out the sand­wich into a heart shape or as­sem­ble the fruit into the shape of a flower.

Put fruit and vegetable pieces on to skew­ers to make ke­babs.

Sur­prise him/her with a treat once in a while. A cho­co­late or cup­cake will re­mind them that treats can be part of a healthy, bal­anced diet.

Plan ahead. Take time to plan each lunch box. Re­mem­ber you are in­vest­ing in your child’s health and well-be­ing and should never com­pro­mise on that.


An as­sort­ment of shapes, a splash of colour­ful foods and oc­ca­sional spe­cial sur­prises – like a love note or a cup­cake – will go a long way in help­ing pack your child a nu­tri­tional, yet in­ter­est-grab­bing lunch box.

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